Ja Morant’s Suspension Is Both Right And Wrong


The NBA is big business and has a rep to protect.

Ja Morant has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the last five months, albeit that it’s his own doing.

The high-flying Grizzlies’ star was poised to be the league’s next leading superstar until a leaked video thwarted those plans.

While Ja hadn’t done anything illegal, as evidenced by Colorado officials clearing him of any legal wrongdoing stemming from his IG live antics with a gun in a nightclub, he was caught doing something dumb and potentially dangerous. 

But to the NBA, it was a stain on its image.

So Morant was given an eight-game suspension, costing him almost $700,000 in forfeited salary. The playoffs rolled around and unfortunately for Memphis fans, the team lost to the Lakers.

And just when things were quieting down, Morant was caught once again brandishing a gun on IG Live.

To be clear, Morant has done nothing illegal, especially in Tennessee as it’s a permitless carry state.

But the events did two specific things.

One, they made public other incidents involving Morant, including a brushup at a mall that resulted in a police report being filed after a security guard felt threatened by Morant and his friends, and accusations of punching a teenager and flashing a gun at a pickup game.

Two, it tarnished the NBA’s image and reputation, and that’s what led to Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision on Friday to suspend Morant for the first 25 games of the upcoming season.

As expected, the reactions were varied and swift. 

Some agreed with the suspension, saying Morant must learn the hard way. Others called it hypocritical as members of Congress have been celebrated for posing in holiday cards armed with automatic weapons.

Others felt it was too severe, including NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio who stated, “We believe it is excessive and inappropriate for a number of reasons, including the facts involved in the particular incident, and that it is not fair and consistent with past discipline in our league.”

In Ja’s case, everyone is right.

Those feeling the suspension was too harsh point towards the lack of criminal charges in Morant’s incidents. Making bad choices and being reckless and stupid are not punishable by law.

Those supporting the suspension point to the fact that Morant committed the same mistake not once but twice in a span of basically two months and needed some “act right.”

Looking at the NBA’s punishment list from this past season (minus Ja’s eight-game suspension), the highest number of games a player was suspended for was three for on-court fighting.

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