JJ Redick takes shot at GOP lawmakers while defending Ja Morant: ‘Gun culture is pervasive’
Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant has been suspended from all offseason team activities, as the NBA conducts a review of the social media post that shows him brandishing a firearm.
Less than two months ago, Morant was suspended after an Instagram Live video surfaced showing him flashing a gun inside a Denver-area nightclub. Morant met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver following the incident. During an interview with ESPN on Tuesday Silver said he was “shocked” by the latest video.
Over the past few days, many fans, athletes and celebrities have shared their respective opinions about the situation.
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Former NBA player and current television commentator JJ Redick said Morant should face some type of punishment.
“I'm not condoning the behavior, I'm not saying there should be no punishment. There should be. There should be consequences, you are the face of the league,” Redick said.
MEMPHIS RAPPER DEFENDS JA MORANT OVER LATEST INCIDENT: ‘GUNS ARE NOT ILLEGAL'
Aside from the nightclub video and the most recent gun brandishing video, Morant has been associated with multiple incidents throughout the season.
Last summer, a member of the security team at a Memphis mall told police that he was “threatened” by Morant during an altercation in the parking lot, according to records obtained by the Washington Post. No arrests were made.
A few days later, Morant was accused of repeatedly punching a 17-year-old boy in the head during a pickup game at Morant's Tennessee home.
The teenager also told investigators that Morant went inside the house and came back out with a gun, according to police interviews obtained by the Washington Post. In April, Morant filed a countersuit against the teenager.
“We can go into the backstory with the incident with the teenager, Ja is claiming self defense that the teenager threw the ball in his face. We can go into the incident with the mall when he yelled at the security guard. We can go into the incident with the Indiana Pacers traveling party. As far as we know… all of these things have been investigated and no law has been broken,” Redick said on Wednesday's edition of ESPN's “First Take”.
While Redick made it clear that there should be repercussions for Morant's latest offense, he did not think a suspension for half of the season was warranted. “I don't think half a season is the answer.”
He also criticized some GOP leaders, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Redick hinted that Morant was being held to a different standard than Abbott.
“In our country right now the gun culture is pervasive…. We've got mass shooting after mass shooting and nobody is doing [anything] about it… But, there's no consequence for Greg Abbott telling his constituents that they should ‘go buy more guns’ and then we have mass shooting after mass shooting in Texas,” Redick said.
“There's no consequence for an elected Tennessee official to send out a Christmas card holding AR-15s with his young family. And then there's a shooting in his very district. There's no consequences to that.
“So why are we trying to lay down the hammer on a 23-year-old who didn't break a law? Explain that to me.” Redick noted.
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Redick was referring to the mass shooting at a private school in Nashville that left three children and three adults dead.
On the day of the shooting, Republican Rep. Andy Ogles, who represents the district where the school is located, issued a statement saying he was “heartbroken.” But, the representative came under fire after a photo surfaced of Ogles, his wife and two of their three children posing with rifles as they stood in front of a decorated Christmas tree.