Ja Morant Claims Self-Defense In 2022 Fight Lawsuit

Morant is seeking immunity under Tennessee's Stand Your Ground law.

BYBen Mock
Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six

Before Ja Morant was the guy who couldn't stop waving a gun on Instagram Live, Ja Morant was the guy allegedly beating up minors. In July 2022, Morant reportedly got into an altercation with Joshua Holloway, who was 17 at the time. Holloway had been attending a pick-up game at Morant's home in Tennessee. There, he claims he was assaulted by Morant and Morant's friend Davonte Pack. An initial investigation was opened and quickly closed, with no charges filed.

However, a Washington Post report, released alongside a civil suit filed by Holloway, revealed a lot of questionable details in the original investigation. Morant is now embroiled in that suit, which alleges assault, reckless endangerment, abuse or neglect, and infliction of emotional distress. However, Morant has filed a countersuit for slander, battery, and assault. However, the suits now hinge on a legal maneuver from Morant's team that has been described as a "Hail Mary".

Morant Invokes Stand Your Ground Law

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 28: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies leaves the court after Game Six of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena on April 28, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Per new court filings, Morant's team is arguing that Morant has immunity under Tennessee's Stand Your Ground law. This allows an individual to act with force in self-defense if threatened on their own property. This stems from the claim that Morant only hit Holloway after Holloway struck Morant in the chin with a basketball. While Morant's team has claimed that this was deliberate, Holloway's team has argued that the then-teenager was simply performing a "ready check". However, it is important to clarify that Morant's team does not deny that Morant did indeed hit Holloway. Instead, it's the circumstances and reasons for the assault that they dispute.

Circuit Court Judge Carol Chumney has ruled that attorneys from all sides, including the Tennessee Attorney General, may present arguments in the Stand Your Ground defense. While Morant and Holloway's team will argue for and against it, the state AG will determine whether the law is actually applicable. Holloway's attorney, Rebecca Adelman, called the move the "Hail Mary of Hail Marys." Furthermore, Pack was arrested earlier this week on a misdemeanor assault charge linked to the incident. However, Judge Chumney scheduled an October 12 hearing for the arguments, meaning the story is on hold for the moment.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.