Shortly after the second video of Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies waving a gun around was shared on social media, New England Patriots cornerback Jack Jones offered the NBA superstar some advice via his Twitter account.
“@JaMorant dumb.. You letting social media and yo pride ruin yo real money,” Jones wrote, per MassLive. “Put them guns down and run that money up. Make one of yo homies sign up for security or concealed carry if you feel like you need it that bad.. but you the bread winner you gotta start acting like it.”
That tweet has since been deleted, with good cause as Jones, who dealt with a number of off-field issues and played for three different colleges before being selected in the fourth round of last year’s draft, was arrested on Friday night by the Massachusetts State Police at Logan Airport and booked on multiple weapons charges after a pair of firearms were found in his carry-on luggage.
Arrested in a state with stricter gun laws than most, Jones, 25, was charged with two counts of the following five offenses: possession of a concealed weapon in a secure area of an airport, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, and possession of a large-capacity feeding device.
While all of those charges are serious, the most damaging may be Jones allegedly possessing a large-capacity feeding device (a clip with added space for more ammunition) as a conviction for that offense would come with a mandatory prison sentence.
Arraigned on Tuesday morning in East Boston District Court, Jones blamed the media and social media for his problems via his attorney after pleading not guilty. “He had no intention of bringing any guns onto an airport [sic] that day,” his lawyer, Rosemary Scapicchio, said. “All Mr. Jones wants to do is play football. He doesn’t want to be a distraction at all.”
Whatever happens with Jones and his legal situation, the fact that he was arrested with loaded, illegal guns in his carry-on luggage at a major airport raises so many questions. Why did he have the guns? Where did he get them? Who was he expecting to see after getting off the plane? What was he thinking? Was he even thinking at all? How could the Patriots, who still are haunted by the ghost of Aaron Hernandez, allow this to happen?
While that last question may not exactly be a fair one as no professional team should reasonably be expected to speak to its players about the dangers of carrying loaded guns onto airplanes because no one with even a shred of common sense would ever think about doing that, it’s fair to inquire about what exactly is happening with Bill Belichick and his football team.
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No matter if Jones serves time and is cut by the team or is somehow able to beat the charges and returns to the Patriots, what he is alleged to have done is incredibly stupid and shows an embarrassing lack of judgment and awareness. While not shown specifically by Jones last season as he played well as a rookie and was projected to be the team’s No. 1 corner this year, those sorts of attributes were on display multiple times last season by the Patriots as a whole on the football field. That being the case, perhaps it’s no surprise what happened with Jones away from the gridiron.
For decades, New England’s team was celebrated for being smarter, more disciplined and more prepared than the rest of the NFL — the so-called Patriot Way. Since Tom Brady left town, the “Way” has fallen by the wayside and the Patriots now have to worry about dealing with Jones’s five gun charges instead of adding to their six Super Bowls because of it.
His next court date is August 18.