The internet leaked into real life again as living, breathing faceless Twitter profiles took human form, came to FedEx Forum and told Ja Morant to go back on the injured list during the Grizzlies’ loss to the Thunder on Monday. If you missed it, Memphis won 10 of 12 against an easy schedule, including a 73-point drubbing of the same Oklahoma City, with Morant sidelined due to an injury.
Morant was upset after the game, and vented his frustration to the media.
“Even during the game, I was running down the court and I heard some of my fans courtside tell me I need to sit back out,” Morant said. “So, I just don’t understand what they wanted to get out of that. I feel like that just makes it worse.
“I’m just frustrated. Normally, y’all have seen it, when anybody says something negative about me, it fuels me,” Morant continued. “But, tonight, the remarks from the fans actually hurt. I’m going to do what I normally do and bounce back and I’m very excited for this next game.”
Then, in a now-deleted tweet, he seemed to perceive in-person heckling as online heckling and entertained a break from social media.
“off social media for awhile ✌🏽 anybody who need me got my # .love is love 🖤”
I don’t know if an alarm went off in his Gen Z-brainwashed mind when he unlocked his phone and had nothing else to tap but the email icon, but whatever happened, the declaration of a social media break was deleted, and it’s unclear if he’s off the juice.
He hasn’t been active since replacing his hiatus announcement with “appreciate da real ones” on Monday, so maybe he is taking a break, but it’s not like a pretentious break like someone telling you they’re taking a break. It’s more authentic, like I didn’t announce it and if you push me on it, I’ll admit to it, but I don’t want to announce it because I don’t want people to think I think I’m better than them. Or he could be like half of Twitter who just follows people and doesn’t actually tweet anything.
I don’t know, I just want to point out how weird it is that Morant would want a break from scrolling through TikTok, Instagram and Twitter because someone said something nasty to him during a game.
When you break it down, it’s all harassment, and maybe he knew to expect even worse rhetoric online or checked his phone between the end of the game and the postgame news conference and found more of the same, but shit has gotten pretty fucking out of hand. Kevin Durant is lighting up 13-year-old kids online, and some dumbass Memphis fans are so emboldened by Twitter muscles that they brought their hot takes to the game.
Morant, averaging 24/7/6, is having the best season of his career, and the Grizz are two games up on the Clippers for the fourth seed in the West, so it would be nice if he could enjoy home-court advantage like the rest of the league. Taking a leave from social media is always a good idea, but society has made it such that even when you do, shitty people act like internet assholes anywhere, a constant reminder that a place exists where that kind of abhorrent behavior is normal.
I’m with you, Ja, I wish if I deleted social media off my phone that it would carry over to reality. Anyway, happy holidays! (Not to you, trolls. Go find your parents and ask them why they don’t love you.)