NBA reverses ban on LaMelo Ball's neck tattoo

San Antonio, Texas - The NBA has decided to reverse the ban on LaMelo Ball's neck ink after a six-week absence and months of having to cover his tattoo with a bandage when on the basketball court.

LaMelo Ball has faced challenges from the NBA on account of his neck tattoo.
LaMelo Ball has faced challenges from the NBA on account of his neck tattoo.  © Collage: IMAGO/Icon Sportswire

Back in November, the NBA ordered LaMelo Ball to either cover his new neck tattoo or face disciplinary action for breaking rules under the organization's collective bargaining agreement.

The tattoo – simply the letters "LF" located under his left ear – allegedly violated a rule that all NBA players had to comply with that they cannot wear commercial logos that haven't been pre-approved by the league.

Since Ball owns a fashion brand called LaFrance, or LF, it was argued that he was promoting his products while on the court.

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The name LaFrance is also, not coincidentally, his middle name.

LaMelo Ball's tattoo a possible breach of NBA rules

The star Charlotte Hornets guard argued the tat was simply an abbreviated version of his middle name, and therefore didn't break the collective bargaining agreement he had signed.

In a statement provided to ESPN at the time, NBA spokesperson Tim Frank explained that "players are prohibited from displaying commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair during games."

"LaMelo Ball's neck tattoo is in obvious violation of the rule and, accordingly, he's required to cover it."

Months later, LaMelo Ball returns to the NBA with controversial tattoo in full display

According to ESPN, insider sources suggest that the NBA has bowed to pressure from LaMelo Ball and his associates, allowing the player to return with the tattoo uncovered.

This was seemingly confirmed when Ball appeared in a San Antonio game on Friday night with the tattoo on full display and no bandage in sight.

While the game itself may have been a loss for the Charlotte Hornets (99-135), Ball's record 28 points were admittedly impressive, and his tattoo had the biggest victory of them all.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/Icon Sportswire

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