The NBA has informed Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith that he could face a fine for each game in which he does not cover up the Supreme-branded tattoo on the back of his right leg.
JR took to Instagram on Saturday to express his frustration with the league’s warning.
via Sports Illustrated:
“So I was informed today that i would be fined every game if I don’t cover up my ‘SUPREME TATTOO’ on my leg during these games!! (sic)” Smith wrote. “These people in the league office are something else!”
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Smith will have conversations with the league about the decision. An NBA spokesman told Charania that “NBA rules prohibit players from displaying any commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair.”
Smith had his Supreme tattoo done in late August. The 33-year-old has modeled the brand on his Instagram several times throughout the past year. Last season, he even wore a Supreme shooting sleeve in December against the Lakers. However, the sleeve—which Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. also wore over his leg for one game last season—violated the NBA’s uniform policy as stated in Article XXXVII, Section 2, Paragraph A of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
The NBA’s players dress code, however, did not state any such limitations for players wearing tattoos. Since at least the 2010-11 season, an NBA player has never been publicly fined or suspended for tattoos, according to Spotrac’s database.
In late August, it was first reported that the NBA planned to remove all color restrictions on footwear for the 2018-19 season, allowing players freedom to wear whatever designs and color schemes they desired.
The fact that a league can essentially own the rights to a player’s skin is….disturbing.