Ja Morant Flashes Another Gun On Social Media | Is It Him? Is It Us? Or Should NBA Youngboy Be Called NRA Youngboy To Have It Make Sense?

Ja Morant has quickly become a case study in how to blow a second chance in the court of public opinion. The vessel? Yet again, IG Live. The situation? Ja and his guys in a car turn up to a song by NBA Youngboy for no apparent reason, as he tends to do frequently, and yet again, another gun is flashed for the world to see.

The outcome: suspension by the Memphis Grizzlies organization from all team activities.

This time his friend tried to pivot the camera angle expeditiously, but it was too late; the internet never forgets, and screenshots are the new informant for moments that should have been kept private.

Immediately the polarization began because Morant felt like every Black adult’s child; we know he just wants to have fun with his friends but constantly needs “the talk.” You want to jump through the screen and give his cheek a stinging reminder that you cannot flash a gun on social media as a celebrity, you cannot ride with a gun and play on the internet driving while Black, and most important, it is rare to be forgiven twice in the court of public opinion as a Black man.

Black Twitter quickly also came to his defense as a legal gun holder. If a white person can have a gun and feel comfortable enough to brandish it, why can’t Ja Morant? Unfortunately for those painting an idyllic scenario for Morant’s pride in gun ownership, his life is lived before the world’s eyes, and the methods in which he chooses to showcase his weapon always coincide with commercial rap culture that has faced a branding problem from street tales and energy that feels to many like a glorification of criminality.

At 23 years old, Morant is like any other Southern fun-loving young man; he likes beleaguered Louisiana rap artist NBA Youngboy and the various musical vibrations that provide him uber masculine energy. The music choices and the circumstances each time for Ja pose the question of whether art is imitating life or life imitating art.

That is the crux of the issue, along with the fact that guns are not toys, and his penchant to let you know he’s holding, whether in a Denver area strip club or a driving vehicle full of people, is problematic.

How To Shoot Down A Brand Rebuild By Ja Morant

Consider that Morant was in a brand rebuild phase before his failed playoff run ended in the first round to the Los Angeles Lakers. As the leader of the young, brash Grizzlies, he was the de facto loser of the Dillon Brooks intimidation tactics towards LeBron James. Not only did he lose a teammate, but it only enhanced the belief that the Grizzlies have an athletic hotshot in Morant but they are a social media flash in the pan of dancing faux tough guys.

Ja Morant has not fully realized that his brand of entertainment, where he lives life like a music video, does not work in the world of corporate sponsors, season-ticket holders, and, more significant, accountability. As the face of a franchise with a sneaker deal and a team leader, more is expected because more was given, and Morant and his “friends” just don’t seem to get it.

It doesn’t matter if turning up to NRA Youngboy would make it make more sense than NBA Youngboy. What matters is that Ja Morant learned nothing from getting caught up with a weapon the last time. Maybe he is too young to realize that his job extends beyond the parameters of the hardwood whenever he turns on IG Live, and perhaps those who support him won’t forgive him again.

Back to top