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After a month of playing the waiting game, the NBA officially announced on Friday that Ja Morant will be suspended without pay for 25 games next season following his second gun incident of the year. Many have wondered whether or not Morant’s boneheaded off-court decisions would cost him any of his many endorsement deals, but Nike has made it clear that it’s not going anywhere.
Shortly after the NBA announced Morant’s suspension, Nike shared a statement with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
“We are pleased that Ja is taking accountability and prioritizing his well-being,” the statement began. “We will continue to support him on and off the court.”
Morant has a signature shoe with Nike, which was first introduced in December of last year.
While it’s safe to assume that Nike isn’t exactly thrilled that a player it’s paying millions of dollars to has flaunted a gun on Instagram twice in the past few months, the company’s decision to stick with Morant shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Five days after Morant’s second gun video hit the internet, Nike quietly pulled all of the Morant signature shoes from its website. However, less than two weeks later the ‘Hunger’ edition of Morant’s signature shoe went on sale as scheduled and sold out in minutes.
Morant is undoubtedly on thin ice, but Nike is a business, and a business that has a lot invested in the Memphis Grizzlies’ superstar.