Post No Bills: Can the NBA Prohibit its Players from Wearing Tattoo Advertisements?

41 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2005


Professional boxers have been using tattoo advertising to make extra money for several years, notwithstanding considerable opposition from boxing regulators and television broadcasters. Certain National Basketball Association (NBA) players have proposed wearing tattoo advertisements during televised games as well - picture Allen Iverson with a Twizzlers logo emblazoned across his shoulders - but the NBA insists it will prohibit the practice. In response, the NBA Players Association has stated it believes tattoo advertising is permissible and would likely file a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) if the NBA thwarts a tattoo advertising campaign. This article explores the false advertising, first amendment, and labor law implications of the NBA's stated prohibition of tattoo advertising on players.

Keywords: media, intellectual property, false advertising, advertising, marketing, first amendment, free speech, state actor, government actor, labor, collective bargaining, National Labor Relations Board, NLRB, National Basketball Association, NBA

JEL Classification: J50,J53,J58,K10,K12,K19,K30,K31,L82,L83,M31,M37

Suggested Citation

Vukelj, John, Post No Bills: Can the NBA Prohibit its Players from Wearing Tattoo Advertisements?. Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 15, p. 507, 2005. Available at SSRN:

John Vukelj (Contact Author)

DLA Piper LLP (US) ( email )

1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
United States
(212) 335-4502 (Phone)


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