CLEVELAND: Cleveland Cavaliers guard J. R. Smith may face a fine from the NBA.
According to Smith, he has been threatened with discipline from the league if he doesn’t cover up the tattoo, of a logo by a New York-based streetwear company called Supreme, on the back of his right calf for games during the 2018-19 season.
“So I was informed today that I would be fined every game if I don’t cover up my ‘SUPREME TATTOO’ on my legs during games!!” Smith wrote on his Instagram account, adding three crying laughing emojis to the sentence followed by a middle finger emoji. “These people in the league office are something else!”
League spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN’s Darren Rovell: “NBA rules prohibit players from displaying any commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair.”
Smith got the tattoo in August and showed it off on Instagram. He previously wore a Supreme shooting sleeve during a December game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The NBA’s uniform policy, stated in the collective bargaining agreement, warns that wearing the sleeve also is a violation. The dress code does not mention any such limitations for players wearing tattoos, though.
Other players in the league have similar, but less controversial, tattoos, according to USA Today, which noted that Marcin Gortat, who is not sponsored by Nike, has a Michael Jordan Jumpman logo inked on him.
The Cavaliers will begin the season at Toronto on October 17.