Every human being makes mistakes. That’s a given. What’s not guaranteed is people owning up to their mistakes in a mature way.
Superstar athletes tend to not own up to their shortcomings, whether they involve their teams or not. What makes this extra disappointing is that they are in the public eye, so when they shirk responsibility for their mistakes, the disappointment is increased.
Two NBA stars have recently followed this trend. Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant got caught brandishing a gun on Instagram Live for the second time in two months. The incident rightfully caught the attention of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who expressed his disappointment with the star ahead of the NBA Draft Lottery last night.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Ja Morant seen brandishing what appeared to be another firearm on social media: “Honestly, I was shocked.” pic.twitter.com/cGq3r1uG7g— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) May 17, 2023
Silver is usually a diplomatic man who keeps an even keel, so for him to be this specific on Morant’s behavior is quite telling.
But the Grizzlies point guard wasn’t done being stupid. Only after Silver made these remarks did Morant issue a public apology. Mind you, this is the first time he's said anything publicly - almost three days after the second event.
Ja Morant statement: “I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me. This is a journey and I recognize there is more work to do. 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.”— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 17, 2023
That’s the best you can do?! Sure he’s taking full responsibility for his actions, but this is a situation where one mess up should have been all he needed to know that he needed to “work on himself.”
Related: Comedian Asks Why NBA Star Morant is in Trouble After Posting Gun Videos...Twice
Morant’s right. His words don’t mean much, especially after the grace he was shown following the first incident. His apology missed the mark more than a Draymond Green three-point attempt.
Speaking of which, the Golden State Warriors small forward has made a half-baked apology for something he did as well. Before the regular season began, video surfaced of Green punching and knocking out teammate Jordan Poole at a team practice.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that his team never fully got over the incident, which affected his squad’s ability to succeed throughout the season. Green agreed with Kerr’s assessment, but didn’t seem to show a level of remorse that fit the situation.
Draymond speaks on how his altercation with Jordan Poole affected Warriors' season.@Money23Green | @stephenasmith pic.twitter.com/ZSSE3yhyE2— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 17, 2023
“None of those things happen if that (the punch) doesn’t happen," Draymond said, "because the voice that I am and the departments that I lead this team in, there was a ton of slippage due to me sitting back, me not saying anything, me trying to allow that situation to play itself out and give it time to heal.
I would say probably about February I started to feel like myself again and speak more,” Green continued. “But guess what, there was five months of the season where slippage has just been occurring.”
Green made no mention of how his actions could have affected Poole - a key contributor for the Warriors - and focused more on how he was affected than anything else. And when he did mention how the team was affected overall, he said they were failing because he wasn’t at his best, making it seem like the Warriors rely mainly on him to succeed. That’s about as self-centered as it gets.
Most star athletes don’t care that a lot of the world watches how they conduct themselves, and they can forget the example they set for their fans, especially young ones. When they act like their actions aren’t as bad as they really are, it sends a horrible message to a watching world.