Rolling Out

Judge rules in Ja Morant civil lawsuit for punching a teen at his home

The Memphis Grizzlies’ guard is the defendant in a civil lawsuit for punching a teen during a pickup game at his house
Ja Morant speaks to the media after a game. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out)
Ja Morant speaks to the media after a game. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out)

Memphis Grizzlies’ star guard Ja Morant received positive news when a judge ruled in his favor regarding the case of punching a teenager at his home.

In Tennessee, Shelby County Judge Carol Chumney ruled that the uber-talented but troubled NBA superstar was acting in self-defense when he struck then-17-year-old Holloway in the face. The violent altercation took place during one of the many pickup basketball games at Morant’s family home in Eden, Tennessee, just outside of Memphis, in July 2022.

Morant, 24, has always contended that Holloway deliberately aimed the basketball at Morant out of frustration and struck him in the face. 

According to The Blast, Morant answered in the affirmative when asked if he felt the ball was used as a weapon against him.

“Yes,” the Grizzlies’ point guard said.

After being stunned, Morant said he asked Holloway, “What you on?” When Holloway did not respond but pulled up his shorts, Morant said he took that as a sign of aggression — a “fighting stance” — and then punched Holloway in the face.

Judge over civil lawsuit against Ja Morant said the complainant has to prove Morant was the aggressor

Shelby County Court Judge Carol Chumney ruled that Morant “enjoys a presumption of civil immunity” under Tennessee’s self-defense immunity statute. ESPN reports that, due to the ruling, the burden of proof now shifts to Holloway and his legal team to prove to the court that Morant did not act in self-defense.

Rebecca Adelman, Holloway’s attorney, told ESPN that “We’re disappointed” with the ruling but added, “We will continue to take the steps necessary to protect and advocate for Joshua.”

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