Nike released a statement on Saturday (March 4) regarding the partnership with their star athlete, Ja Morant. According to Sports Illustrated, the shoe company reacted to his recent string of controversies, stating they would continue to “support” Morant amid the NBA’s investigation.
“We appreciate Ja’s accountability and that he is taking the time to get the help he needs. We support his prioritization of his well-being,” Nike’s statement read via Shams Charania.
The Memphis Grizzlies previously announced that their star player would be away from their facilities “for at least two games” after uploading a video to his personal Instagram account where he can be seen brandishing a firearm. Morant, 23, has also deactivated his Twitter and IG accounts in the aftermath of the suspension.
Along with his time away from the National Basketball Association, Ja has also been accused of assaulting a 17-year-old boy after a pick-up game at his home.
TMZ reports that the NBA All-Star and his childhood friend, Davonte Pack, were listed in a suit claiming that he punched an unidentified 17-year-old. The case, initiated and filed in Shelby County, Tenn. in 2021, was revealed to have been sealed, but full details of its happenings have since been disclosed, with a lawsuit filed in March 2023.
The Memphis Grizzlies point guard has since claimed his actions were an “act of self-defense.”
Ja Morant signed a multi-year contract with Nike in 2019, just before the NBA draft, in which he was selected as the No. 2 overall pick out of Murray State.
His inaugural signature shoe with the brand, the Ja 1, was unveiled in December 2022. The sneaker hit retail stores in February 2023, with the basketball player becoming the 23rd player to receive an exclusive kick from Nike.