NewsYoung NBA star in trouble over a tattoo

Young NBA star in trouble over a tattoo

LaMelo Ball is one of the stars of the young generation of basketball players playing in the NBA.
LaMelo Ball is one of the stars of the young generation of basketball players playing in the NBA.
Images source: © Getty Images | Scott Taetsch
ed. KRWL
10:26 AM EST, November 18, 2023

LaMelo Ball, a player for the Charlotte Hornets, has recently been seen on the court with a covered tattoo. Representatives from the NBA league discovered an advertisement behind the player's ear, which contradicts the collective agreement between the players and the premier global basketball league.

Basketball sportsman LaMelo Ball is required to cover his "LF" initials tattoo situated just below his left ear. According to the NBA's interpretation, this tattoo breaches the league's regulations surrounding any public display of commercial logos on the players' bodies.

LaMelo ball's controversial tattoo

LaMelo Ball's "LF" tattoo stands for his middle name, LaFrance. Additionally, it's the name of the clothing brand Ball has founded, called LaFrancé - according to a report by bleacherreport.com.

Both LaMelo Ball and the NBA are currently in talks over this controversial insignia. Wojnarowski shared that they'll keep exploring possible resolutions to this issue.

In order to avoid penalties, Ball chose to hide his tattoo prior to a Tuesday game, in which the Hornets lost to the Miami Heat. He also covered the marking for a Friday game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

NBA cites collective agreement

NBA spokesperson, Tim Frank, referenced the league's collective agreement in a statement to ESPN about Ball's tattoo.

Per our collective agreement, players are prohibited from displaying commercial logos or company insignia on their bodies or in their hair during games. Our aim is to apply this rule sensibly and consistently, taking into account players' efforts to express themselves in non-commercial ways. However, LaMelo Ball's neck tattoo clearly breaches this rule, and he is therefore compelled to cover it - the NBA spokesperson is quoted by bleacherreport.com.

Ball clarified to the NBA that his tattoo refers to his own middle name and his uncle. Wojnarowski pointed out that the Hornets' point guard had been using the initials 'LF' before they were associated with his brand, as noted on the American portal.

Representatives of 22-year-old Ball told the NBA during discussions that a few players bore designs that could be deemed company logos on their bodies, including the Jordan Brand logo. The NBA responded by saying these players do not have active collaborations with these brands, citing the example of Marcin Gortat, who sports an Air Jordan logo tattoo.

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