The NBA is requiring Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball to cover a tattoo, because the league says it violates the policies against exposed commercial logos. Ball has a tattoo of his “LF” logo below his left ear. Ball was forced to wear a patch over the tattoo for the Hornets game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
Ball has said the tattoo is for his middle name LaFrance. The tattoo is also the logo of Ball’s clothing brand. That’s where the issue comes in for the NBA.
In a statement to ESPN, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said: “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.”