The NBA has notified Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith that he could face a fine for each game he fails to cover-up a new tattoo on his right leg. In August, Smith debuted a new tattoo on the back of his right leg displaying the company logo of Supreme, an American clothing brand. Smith has taken to Instagram to complain about the NBA’s warning. However, as explained below, the NBA not only has the right to fine Smith but may have obligations in sponsorship contracts to do so. Also, given that NBA players collectively share in revenue generated by the league’s apparel contracts, those players likewise have a financial stake in the NBA protecting the intellectual property rights of sponsors—even when such protection limits the tattoo autonomy of individual players.
(source: Sports Illustrated)
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