- Hornets All-Star LaMelo Ball is being required to cover a tattoo by the NBA
- A league spokesman says the tattoo violates league rules against brand logos
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Charlotte Hornets All-Star LaMelo Ball is being required to cover a tattoo because of the NBA’s rules against players exposing brand logos on their bodies.
Ball tattooed ‘LF’ on his neck below his left ear. According to ESPN, the initials stand for ‘LaFrance,’ his middle name and clothing brand.
The third-year guard already covered the tattoo during a game against Miami on Tuesday.
But while Ball is currently complying with the league’s wishes, ESPN is reporting that the issue is expected to be discussed between himself and the league.
In the meantime, NBA spokesman Tim Frank released a statement, clarifying the purpose of the rule.
Charlotte Hornets All-Star LaMelo Ball is being required to cover a tattoo by the NBA
Ball’s tattoo (left) was exposed as recently as November 12, but he’s now covering it (right)
‘Per the [collective bargaining agreement], players are prohibited from displaying commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair during game,’ read Frank’s statement.
‘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.’
Ball reportedly has a similar tattoo on his left hand, but the league is apparently less concerned with that.
ESPN is also reporting that other players have been allowed to keep their brand tattoos uncovered – body art that includes logos for Jordan Brand, Michelin and Warner Bros.
The NBA told ESPN that the players in question do not have endorsement deals with those respective brands.
In 2018, Ball’s brother Lonzo was similarly required to cover a ‘Big Baller Brand’ tattoo representing the family’s apparel company.