Tattoo restrictions against athletes both collegiate and professional

Athletes, either professional or collegiate, may be restricted of doing certain things while playing. Cleveland Cavaliers J.R Smith is a prime example of an athlete that is being restricted of on and off the court. The successful guard recently got a tattoo of popular brand Supreme on his leg. 

The word supreme spreads across his calf in big bold lettering. Smith went on instagram and said that the league is making him cover his tattoo or else they will fine him each time it is shown on the court. “NBA rules prohibit players from displaying any commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass says. 

However, Smith is not the first NBA player to tattoo a brand. Houston Rockets Carmelo Anthony has a Warner Brothers tattoo on his shoulder. Sacramento Kings, shooting guard Iman Shumpert shaved an Adidas logo into his hair back in 2013. He was required by the league to remove it.  

“As an athlete, yea I feel like it would upset me but it’s not going to kill me,” Zania Brown, sophomore biology major says. “Like for Cabrini, when I row, I’m only allowed to wear Nike. I can’t wear Under Armour, I can’t wear Adidas. That’s just because were endorsed by Nike. It’s not anything that you know, I can do about it. So, I don’t feel like it’s a big deal just to follow suit, to follow the code.”

Fortunately, the restrictions that professional athletes face generally don’t apply to college athletes. There are more restrictions in the professional leagues.

Photo from Cabrini Athletics

“If I was restricted by Cabrini I will feel targeted because of the way I like to express myself through tattoos but I also feel where the university is coming from,” senior black studies and criminal justice major, Anthony Wright Downing said. “They are trying to protect their name. It’s all about a business reputation so they will do what they have to do to keep a good name for themselves. Now a days many college players have lots of tattoos that shows an image of themselves but they are being discriminated against by the way they are expressing and representing themselves.”

The 6’2 forward has ten tattoos that he is extremely proud of.

On Cabrini’s sports teams, whether it’s lacrosse, soccer, basketball or baseball most athletes have tattoos.