But he’s backing down and will cover the leg tattoo.
Smith, via Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:
“I’m not giving them money that could go to my kids,” Smith told ESPN. “I was looking into (my rights), but the Players Association just texted me, and you know what? I’m not going to put money in their pockets. Not a chance.”
Notice that decision came after hearing from his union – not more discussion with the league.
JR Smith said he hasn’t contacted the league regarding the “Supreme” tattoo on his right calf that they asked him to cover up. And he doesn’t plan on having that conversation.
“No. For what?” he asked when approached by cleveland.com in the locker room at TD Garden in Boston Tuesday night. “I don’t talk to the police. That doesn’t do anything for me.”
Unfortunately for Smith, the Collective Bargaining Agreement is pretty clear:
Other than as may be incorporated into his Uniform and the manufacturer’s identification incorporated into his Sneakers, a player may not, during any NBA game, display any commercial, promotional, or charitable name, mark, logo or other identification, including but not limited to on his body, in his hair, or otherwise.
Perhaps he could argue the rule is arbitrarily enforced, as other players have tattoos of brands. But I doubt that’d get him anywhere. He’s making the smart move to keep his money and the fun move to give saucy quotes.
Hopefully for him, he’s getting extra sponsorship money, because the company is getting more publicity from this controversy than it ever would have from Smith showing the tattoo during games.