The NBA has required Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball to cover up one of his tattoos, in violation of league rules.
According to ESPN, Ball must cover up his “LF” tattoo below his left ear because it “violates rules prohibiting the display of commercial logos on a player’s body.” Adrian Wojnarowski.
The tattoo is referenced by Ball’s middle name, LaFrance. But it’s also his name now. clothing brandsLafrancais.
Wojnarowski said Ball and the NBA have been discussing the tattoo in recent weeks and will continue to discuss solutions to the issue.
To avoid a fine, Ball began covering up his tattoo before Tuesday’s loss to the Miami Heat and plans to continue covering it in Friday’s in-season tournament game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wojnarowski added.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank cited the league’s collective bargaining agreement in a statement to ESPN regarding Ball’s tattoo, saying:
“Under the (Collective Bargaining Agreement), players are prohibited from displaying commercial logos or corporate insignia on their bodies or hair during games. Consistent with that objective, we will use reasonable efforts in light of the players’ efforts. “We strive to enforce the rules.” However, LaMelo Ball’s neck tattoo is clearly against the rules and therefore he needs to cover it up. ”
Wojnarowski said Ball told the NBA the tattoo was a nod to his middle name and uncle, but the point guard “used the initials LF long before it became a brand. ” he added.
The 22-year-old’s agent also spoke with the NBA and said several players, including Jordan Brand, wore what appeared to be corporate logos on their bodies. The league said those players have no partnership with those brands.
Ball, who is in his fourth NBA season, is off to a strong start heading into the 2023-24 season. He is averaging 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 8.6 assists in 10 games while shooting 41.8 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from deep.
However, the Hornets have struggled, ranking 13th in the Eastern Conference with 3 wins and 7 losses.