Charles Barkley unloads on TV ‘idiots’ defending Ja Morant
Ja Morant’s second incident involving an apparent gun in an Instagram Live video has brought out debates in sports centered around what kind of punishment the star Memphis Grizzlies point guard desrves.
The latest clash of opinions involves TNT’s Charles Barkley and ESPN’s JJ Redick.
On Wednesday, Redick noted that he wasn’t condoning Morant’s behavior and expected consequences, but he passionately explained how politicians post guns and don’t receive the same blowback as Morant. Redick’s comments came on ESPN’s debate show ‘First Take’ after Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo said Morant should be suspended 40 games.
‘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 said.
Barkley took aim at what he called ‘idiots’ on television who took a similar stance as Redick.
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‘Those guys are just freaking idiots,’ Barkley said. ‘… When you’re making a $100 million a year to play sports, your life changes. There are certain rules and regulations you have to live by. Plain and simple. You can’t do stupid stuff. That’s the tradeoff.’
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Morant is currently suspended from all Grizzlies team activities as the NBA investigates the matter. The video surfaced on Sunday morning of Morant brandishing a gun on friend Davante Pack’s Instagram account.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke on the matter ahead of Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery and said he’s ‘assuming the worst’ as the NBA investigates the video.
Morant was suspended eight games in March by the NBA for conduct detrimental to the team after a previous Instagram Live video in which he brandished a gun in a Colorado nightclub.
‘First of all, you’re not a thug,’ Barkley said. ‘You’re not a criminal. You’re not a crook. You’re a guy making $100 million dollars a year to dribble a stupid basketball. … You got to look in the mirror and say, ‘Maybe, you know what? Maybe I’m the problem.’ It’s disappointing because the kid is a great player.’