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The responsibility to bear arms

North Carolina NBA star Ja Morant has been suspended for the next 25 games for the 23-24 season following the verdict by the NBA commissioner. Photo courtesy of Katie Dugan/Wikipedia Commons

The cost of fame and fortune is a responsibility and in the age of social media it is easier than ever to expose your lack of it. Memphis Grizzlies NBA star Ja Morant has made a streak of reckless acts that continues to display this lack of integrity, fueling an already divisive topic in our nation. 

The 23-year-old point guard has made a name for himself in the NBA; the two time All-Star, averaged 26.2 points, 8.1 assists last season. While Morant is known for his skills on the court, he is also known for his social media troubles. Morant has currently been suspended for the next 25 games for the 23-24 season following the verdict by the NBA commissioner.  

Back in March, Morant was seen on Instagram account appearing to be intoxicated at a nightclub in Denver, waving a firearm. The NBA star was given an eight-game suspension following the first incident. Two months after, in May, Morant was seen once again on an Instagram livestream waving firearms with a group of individuals at a social gathering. Morant had assumed responsibility for his actions in the past, but this second offense showed a complete disregard for the promises made to his team and his fans.  

In an official statement by the NBA, commissioner Adam Silver said, “Ja Morant’s decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games.”  

Silver added, “The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning. Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.” 

Additionally, there were more violent altercations in Memphis, where he verbally assaulted patrons outside a shoe store. One incident involved a 17-year-old where Morant allegedly punched the individual in the head twice. These incidents were reported to the police, but Morant never faced any charges.  

His behavior and suspension have caused much debate in the NBA community. As people deemed the punishments too soft for the young star, especially since the topic of gun control continues to rage in our communities and government. The NBA has a wide audience and is especially impressionable on the youth. Seeing this type of behavior is more than irresponsible for some, and many are calling for the NBA to cut him loose.  

Despite the major penalty on his career, Morant assumed responsibility for his actions, and would later issue an official apology for his young fans. “To the kids who look up to me, I’m sorry for failing you as a role model. I promise I’m going to be better. To all my sponsors, I’m going to be a better representation of our brands. And to all of my fans, I’m going to make it up to you, I promise.” 

One of his biggest sponsors, Nike, tweeted their continued support and he was allowed to return to the Grizzlies May 22, but is still out for most of the season. 

Eugenio Cantu is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]. 

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About the Contributor
Eugenio Cantu, Guest Contributor
Eugenio Cantu is currently majoring in digital media production with a minor on film. He is a video game and movie aficionado, he loves writing and aspires to be a novelist.
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The responsibility to bear arms