On Monday’s episode of sports debate show “Undisputed”, retired NFL star Shannon Sharpe slammed Ja Morant’s apologists for excusing his irresponsible behavior after the Memphis Grizzlies suspended him again for waving a handgun in a video.
Morant, real name Temetrius Jamel Morant, was suspended from all Grizzlies activities after he flashed a gun in a since-deleted IG Live video.
The team issued a statement on Sunday, May 14, that read:
“We are aware of the social media video involving Ja Morant. He is suspended from all team activities pending League review. We have no further comment at this time.”
“I’m mad, I’m upset, I’m disgusted by the people that defended (Morant),” Sharpe said. “Because that’s what got us here.”
“See, Ja can’t do any further embarrassment to himself,” Sharpe said. “What about to the Memphis Grizzles? What about to the NBA? What about the Nike? What about the Powerade? Now I want to know who is going to be the treasurer of that GoFundMe because he is about to lose that NBA contract. He is about to lose that Powerade endorsement.”
Sharpe described how he was roasted for criticizing Morant in March when the star guard was suspended for displaying a handgun in a Denver nightclub. Sharpe noted that Morant’s behavior cost him $39 million in additional money on his contract extension because he wasn’t named to an All-NBA team.
“All of the people that said let Ja be Ja, are y’all gonna be the treasurer of that GoFundMe account, because he just lost $39 million because he wasn’t on one of the three All-NBA teams,” Sharpe said. “He’s about to lose another $20-$30 million of these endorsements.”
“There’s a lot of things you can do, but if I were to post it, FOX is gonna have a problem with what I’m posting. I understand that. I’m smart enough to understand. Some things aren’t meant to be posted, it’s meant to be confined in your own home.”
ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said he won’t buy Morant’s new sneakers for his son after the second gun incident.
“This is up to Ja. This is up to him,” Wilbon told Stephen A. Smith, Jalen Rose, and Mike Greenberg on Monday.
“He’s old enough now – he’s not the normal 23, 24-year-old. He’s not… Because what’s gonna happen now? Nike gonna pull that shoe? Is Powerade gonna pull that drink? I know in my house, I told [my son] Matthew, ‘You can’t have the shoe. I’m not buying that shoe. You’re not buying that shoe. Our money as a family is not going toward that.’ And so I’m not the only one who’s gonna feel that way.”
"What's going to happen now? Nike gonna pull that shoe? Is Powerade gonna pull that drink? I know in my house, I told [my son] you can't have the shoe… Our money as a family is not going toward that."
Michael Wilbon on Ja Morantpic.twitter.com/3dXiIerHnZ
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 15, 2023
In March, Morant was suspended for displaying a gun in an Instagram Live video at a strip club in Denver, CO.
He flew to Florida and checked himself into a rehab facility. He was discharged in a couple of days, then met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and other NBA executives in New York.
Afterwards, the alleged Crips gang member was hit with an eight-game suspension without pay. The 8 games included 2 games he’d already missed.
Sports analysts say the punishment will be more severe this time around.
Nike is expected to cut ties with Morant. He would’ve become the 23rd player in NBA history with his own signature sneaker. The Nike Ja 1 ‘Hunger’ was set to launch on May 25.
Grizzlies fans expressed their disappointment on Reddit.com. One person wrote: “It seems like they didn’t actually do a Great job of emphasizing the seriousness of the situation.”
A second person called for the NBA to suspend Morant for the entire 2023-24 season.
“Silver has to suspend him for at least the entire 2023/24 season with a strict definition on a lifetime suspension from the league for a 3rd strike. This should be sufficient.”
And a third commenter wrote: “He’s truly the dumbest player I have seen in awhile.”
Meanwhile, “Ja Wick” t-shirts are selling briskly online. The shirt features bullet holes and a Glock 9mm handgun similar to the one Morant was waving on Instagram Live.
Watch the video below.
— SportsGridRadio (@SportsGridRadio) May 14, 2023