The NBA recently asked Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith to cover up one of his new tattoos ahead of this season or incur a fine, and their request is not sitting very well.
The tattoo, which portrays the popular logo of clothing brand Supreme, covers most of his right calf and is hard to miss:
The NBA collective bargaining agreement forbids players from unilaterally advertising logos during games, including tattooes on their skin. pic.twitter.com/dKbXxZLyf7
— WegENT (@WegrynENT) September 30, 2018
The NBA informed Smith that he would be fined on a game-basis every game he refuses to cover up the brand logo will cost him.
Smith, clearly unhappy about the development, vented to his Instagram followers this weekend.
“So I was informed today that I would be fined every game if I don’t cover up my ‘SUPREME’ tattoo on my leg during games!! These people in the league are something else!” Smith wrote, accompanied by a middle finger emoji.
So now they’re trying to fine JR Smith for his Supreme tattoo bruh pic.twitter.com/Qu5QGVE90A
— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) September 29, 2018
ESPN analyst Darren Rovell points out that the NBA was well within its rights to make Smith cover his ink up, citing an NBA bylaw that prohibits players from showing any unaffiliated brand during play.
There is no debate that the NBA has the right to tell JR Smith he has to cover up the Supreme tattoo on his skin. Smith, by virtue of being an NBA player, agreed to those terms when the union signed the Collective Bargaining Agreement. pic.twitter.com/CmzWUkHDLa
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 1, 2018
This means that Smith’s argument that wearing Nike, Jordan, or any other NBA-affiliated brands is the same thing just becomes null and void.
This probably isn’t the last we’ve heard of this situation. Given J.R. Smith’s history of fighting rules, regulations, and referees, this could drag on well into the season.