Ja Morant issues statement as NBA investigates him for handling gun at Colorado strip club

Ja Morant will take time off from the NBA and the Memphis Grizzlies after appearing to handle a gun at a Colorado strip club following his team’s loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

Morant issued a statement apologizing for his actions on Saturday and will not play for at least the next two games.

CBS News Colorado confirmed the Grizzlies stayed in Denver after the nationally televised game against the No. 1 Nuggets. The game was remarkable as the second-placed Grizzlies try to close the gap between the two teams.

The Grizzlies have confirmed they are aware of the incident and are investigating it.

In the video, which Morant posted to his Instagram account in the early hours of Saturday morning, the NBA star is seen dancing in a darkened room with other men and women. Morant is heard singing along with the song being played.

He is then seen briefly wielding what appears to be a real gun as he continues to sing and dance.

Instagram: @JaMorant

After CBS News Colorado announced that Morant’s team had stayed in Denver overnight, many began to speculate about the location of the incident.

Some on social media pointed out that the piece looked a lot like a piece featured in ads for a strip club on the outskirts of Denver near Cherry Creek.

It is unclear who owned the gun or if it belonged to Morant or someone else.

CBS News Colorado reached out to a longtime charter partner of the NBA for comment on their gun policies on charter flights.

The airline referred most questions to the NBA. However, they confirmed that any passenger on a charter flight still goes through TSA checks and rules.

The TSA requires all firearms to be declared at check-in, and they must be unloaded and secured in a locked case under the plane in checked baggage. If TSA rules are followed, a passenger on a charter flight could carry a firearm on the plane.

In Colorado, it is illegal to own a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

While it is unclear if Morant had consumed alcohol or any other substance at the club, women in the video can be seen drinking from open liquor bottles around him as he brandished the firearm.

Morant, who recently made headlines for other charges of violence in public places, will not play in the Grizzlies’ next game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Nor Dillon Brooks who was also suspended for one game after the loss to the Nuggets due to excessive technical fouls during games and NBA rules.

Morant apologized to the public for his actions and said he was taking time to find better ways to deal with stress, saying:

“I take full responsibility for my actions last night. I’m sorry to my family, my teammates, my coaches, my fans, my partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down. I’m going to take time to get help and work on learning better ways to manage stress and my overall well-being.”

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