Ja Morant’s latest Nike sneakers sells out in minutes amid gun-related controversy
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant signed a deal with athletic apparel and footwear giant Nike in 2019.
Nike decided to move forward with plans to release Morant’s latest sneaker despite the star point guard’s recent suspension from all team activities. The Grizzlies handed down the suspension after a social media video showing Morant holding a gun surfaced earlier this month.
The Ja 1 “Hunger” sneaker was made available on Thursday. The shoe sold out in about 20 minutes, according to The Wall Street Journal. At the moment, it does not appear that Nike is interested in ending its relationship with Morant.
Fox News Digital contacted Nike for more information but did not immediately hear back.
A handful of retailers, such as Finish Line and Hibbett Sports, recently decided to drop the shoe from their respective online release calendars.
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Morant’s first signature shoe with Nike was unveiled in December. The sneaker was released in retail stores earlier this year.
Shortly after the suspension, Morant released a statement in which he apologized for his actions.
“My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I’m committed to continuing to work on myself,” he said.
In March, Morant flashed a handgun during an Instagram Live video stream while he was inside a Denver-area nightclub. The NBA subsequently suspended him for eight games.
After the initial suspension, Nike said it appreciated the fact that Morant had taken accountability. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he was “shocked” by the latest video.
“Honestly, I was shocked when I saw this weekend that video,” Silver said earlier this month. “Now, we’re in the process of investigating it, and we’ll figure out exactly what happened to the best we can. The video is a bit grainy and all that, but I’m assuming the worst.”
Aside from the nightclub video and the most recent gun-brandishing video, Morant has been associated with multiple incidents throughout the season.
Last summer, a member of the security team at a Memphis mall told police that he had been “threatened” by Morant during an altercation in the parking lot, according to records obtained by the Washington Post. No arrests were made.
In a separate incident, Morant was accused of repeatedly punching a 17-year-old boy in the head during a pickup game at Morant’s Tennessee home.
The teenager also told investigators that Morant had gone inside the house and come back out with a gun, according to police interviews obtained by the Washington Post. In April, Morant filed a countersuit accusing the teen of slander, battery and assault.
Elsewhere, Nike ended its relationship with Kyrie Irving following a controversial social media post that referenced an antisemitic film. As a result, sale of the Kyrie 8 shoe was temporarily put on hold. Irving later apologized.