The league has reversed course on a CBA-determined rule. LaMelo Ball was not fined for leaving the tattoo revealed.
The Spurs hosted the Charlotte Hornets last Friday. LaMelo Ball made his playing comeback in this game after being sidelined since late November due to an ankle ailment.
The 2021 Rookie of the Year had a bandage covering a tattoo behind his left ear when the game began. The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement was broken by the inscribed “LF,” which stands for his middle name LaFrance, since it also serves as the name of his apparel brand. It is against the CBA for players to show logos.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank stated in a statement in November of last year:
“Per the [collective bargaining agreement], players are prohibited from displaying commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair during games. We try to enforce the rule reasonably, in accordance with its purpose, and taking into account players’ efforts to express themselves in a non-commercial manner. But LaMelo Ball’s neck tattoo is in obvious violation of the rule and, accordingly, he’s required to cover it.”
Early in the competition in San Antonio, the bandage came off or was otherwise removed, and it was never put back on.
According to Jack Maloney, Ball did not pay a fee for leaving the tattoo visible.
Adrian Wojnarowski revealed later in the week that the league had changed its mind and permitted Ball to play moving forward with his tattoos visible.
The policy was changed, although no particular explanation was provided.
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