J.R. Smith’s ‘Supreme’ tattoo is not allowed by NBA, NPA policy
Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith had a busy offseason, working harder than ever to erase the pain of a Finals sweep and a heartbreaking mistake that cost his team a game. In between these workout sessions, the Cavs veteran managed to get some new ink as well.
It is well documented that Smith is an avid fan of the streetwear brand Supreme, and to show love to the company, he inked the iconic logo on his right leg.
Unfortunately for the streaky shooter, this was not received kindly by the NBA.
According to an article by Michael McCann for Sports Illustrated, Smith can potentially get fined by the league if his new tattoo is visible during games; explaining:
[The tattoo] runs afoul of the collective bargaining agreement signed by the NBA and Smith’s union, the National Basketball Players’ Association. Article XXXVII concerns player appearances and uniforms. Article XXXVII unambiguously states:
Other than as may be incorporated into his Uniform and the manufacturer’s identification incorporated into his Sneakers, a player may not, during an NBA game, display any commercial, promotional, or charitable name, mark, logo or other identification, including but not limited to on his body, in his hair, or otherwise.
Because displaying the Supreme logo could be seen as promoting the brand, Smith might have to cover the tattoo during games or be fined.
The tattoo is partially covered when he wears long socks, but it runs all the way up to his knees, so Smith will have to get inventive to completely block it from the public eye.
Smith has voiced his displeasure over the NBA’s reaction. He might have a point that this rule infringes on his own personal rights, but it looks like the NBA will most likely win this battle.
It’ll be interesting to see if we can get a glimpse of the tat when the Cavs open the regular season against the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 17.