(Bloomberg) -- Basketball star Ja Morant will be eligible to return to the court on Monday after being suspended for posting video of himself holding a firearm in a Denver nightclub. The brands that have put big money behind him, including Coca-Cola Co.’s Powerade and Nike Inc., will be watching closely to decide whether to continue their partnerships. 

There are millions of dollars in endorsement deals at stake for the Memphis Grizzlies’s point guard. His sponsors are hoping that he’ll remain a suitable pitchman for their products, and are betting on him as one of the league’s first Gen-Z stars as many established names get closer to retirement. 

Morant’s suspension for eight games without pay was particularly ill-timed for Powerade. Days prior to the controversy, Powerade signed him to a multiyear deal to be its new face as the sports drink embarks on the biggest marketing push in its 36-year history, with plans to spend more than $10 million on ads in 2023. Executives said Morant would be key to their five-year plan to revitalize the brand, appearing in commercials, billboards, events and store displays. They’ve since pulled television spots featuring Morant. 

Powerade declined to comment.

Morant has expressed remorse, calling the incident “a bad mistake.”

“The gun wasn’t mine, it’s not who I am, I don’t condone any type of violence but I take full responsibility for my actions,” Morant said in an interview with ESPN. He attended a counseling program in Florida during his time away.

Nike continues to stand behind Morant. 

“We appreciate Ja’s accountability and that he is taking the time to get the help he needs,” Nike said in a statement after the incident. “We support his prioritization of his well-being.”

It’s a fresh reminder for Nike of the risks associated with sponsorships. The sportswear giant terminated an arrangement with basketball star Kyrie Irving after he failed to disavow antisemitism.

Morant has also appeared in ads for Beats by Dre, the headphones brand owned by Apple Inc. and Hulu, the streaming service owned by Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp.

The National Basketball Association itself is banking on Morant to be a future face of the sport as one of its most exciting talents, alongside young stars such as Luka Doncic, Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball. Last year, Morant and the Grizzlies agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $193 million.

The NBA suspended Morant after he streamed himself holding a firearm in an Instagram Live video on March 4. The 23-year-old met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and other executives that day to discuss his conduct. Silver said the livestream was “irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” given Morant’s 9 million followers on the platform, adding the player had “learned from this incident.” 

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