Police reports obtained by The Washington Post accuse Memphis Grizzlies star and Nike athlete Ja Morant of threatening a teenager with a gun and physically assaulting him.
One of the NBA’s youngest talents and the latest athlete to receive a signature silhouette from Nike, Ja Morant, is facing controversy. The Washington Post released a police report that details two incidents from July 2022 in which Morant allegedly beat up a 17-year-old boy on a basketball court, flashed his gun at him, and separately “threatened” a security guard at a Memphis mall.
In the incident with the 17-year-old, Morant was allegedly playing a game of basketball in the backyard of a friend's house when an altercation occurred between him and the boy. Morant stated to police that he “swung first” after he had a basketball thrown at his head and the boy walked towards him aggressively. However, the boy told detectives that he was hit so hard it sent him to the ground and left him with a “large knot” on the side of his head. In Morant’s defense, he claims the boy left the scene and shouted, “I’m gonna come back and light this place up like fireworks.” Following this, Morant filed a police report against the teen as he felt his family had been threatened. No charges were ever filed and the police never arrested anyone, though this news comes just a month after a member of his entourage was accused of allegedly pointing a weapon at the Indiana Pacers team bus and threatening staff/players of the team.
Prior to the altercation with the 17-year-old, Ja Morant’s mother was shopping inside a Finish Line at a local Memphis-area mall and got into a dispute with a store employee which led her to call her son to the scene. Shortly after, Ja was said to have arrived with “as many as nine other people” and eventually, was alleged to have gotten into an altercation with a security guard at the mall. The man alleges that one of Morant’s friends “shoved him in the head.” A police report was later filed regarding the incident, though again no arrests were made.
While no arrests were made in either incident and the NBA determined Ja was acting in self-defense against the 17-year-old, online rhetoric and uproar could cause trouble for Morant and his sponsorships (like his deal with Nike) as brands tend to stay away from those who bring negative attention to themselves. Considering Kyrie Irving was recently dropped by Nike, The Swoosh needs to maintain a roster of talent that showcases a clean image and can bring attention to the brand in a positive light. We’ll have to see how Nike, Morant, and his other sponsors handle this news coming to light. Keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app to stay updated on the latest in this case and more in the sneaker and streetwear world.