Charlotte HornetsNBA

NBA Forces LaMelo Ball To Cover His ‘LF’ Tattoo

Photo of author

(Left) Picture of LaMelo Ball with his "LF" tattoo covered up while playing an NBA game. (Right) Picture of LaMelo Ball's LF Tattoo below is ear.

Fans noticed LaMelo Ball covering the tattoo under his ear. This is due to the NBA’s rules against brands on one’s person while playing in the league. The league prohibits anything on the uniform or body showing commercial logos or corporate insignias.

NBA Is Enforcing One Of Their Rules On LaMelo Ball

According to Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN, the league requires the one-time All-Star to cover up. This is specifically for the tattoo under his ear since it represents a commercial entity.

What could LF stand for? It stands for his middle name, LaFrance, and his clothing brand, LaFrancé.

If it were just the former, there wouldn’t be any issue.

However, he launched his designer-level clothing brand back in 2020. You can see why the league would have an issue with this.

NBA‘ spokesman Tim Frank reminded the player and the league about its rules.

“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.”

Tim Frank

Ball Fights Back

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 15: LaMelo Ball #1 of the Charlotte Hornets drives to the basket for a layup during the first quarter of his game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Spectrum Center on October 15, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Matt Kelley/Getty Images)
Photo by Matt Kelley/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets guard is already sporting a similar tattoo on his left hand. However, onlookers can’t easily see it compared to the one under his ear.

In response, Ball’s camp states the “LF” on his neck is supposed to represent his middle name and not the clothing brand. Furthermore, his close family members confirms that the 22-year-old used the initials long before the brand became a reality.

Meanwhile, other players sported logos like the Jordan, Michelin, and Warner Brothers brands on their person. However, the league counters that those players did not have endorsement partnerships with those companies.

It’s also worth noting that the league required Lonzo Ball, his older brother, to cover his “Big Baller Brand” tattoo in 2018.

Ultimately, Ball started covering up his tattoo while the situation continued.

Do you think the NBA is targeting the Ball brothers, or is the league just watching out for the integrity of the sport?