Sports Law Corner – The NBA Dress Code

by | Feb 7, 2006 | 1 comment

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Most rules and regulations set within a sports team or sports league require an amendment to the corporation by-laws. These by-laws were enacted when the corporation, meaning each team or league, was first created. Each law must be voted upon and receive a majority vote in order to be passed and implemented. Should any proposed amendment be challenged, it must contain a sound enough foundation proving its importance.

For instance, if a professional basketball player or players union were to legally challenge the new dress code by suing the NBA, the NBA would have to give a strong policy argument supporting the reasons why the dress code must remain instituted. Accordingly, other regulations in the NBA would be examined to ascertain whether they are in line with the new policy at issue.

The dress code was implemented in order to give the NBA a better image, one that represented professionalism and family oriented entertainment, deterring the violence of the historical Pistons Pacers melee. Certain items were banned and others were ordered toned down. However, much to the chagrin of the majority of NBA stars, including Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace, this literally resulted in a complete removal of the hip-hop culture from the personality of the NBA. This naturally raises the issue of using hip-hop and rap songs during active play. As you may have noticed, rap songs are often played during live game play, and although they only play brief cuts of tracks, most often the full lyrical versions of these songs contain profane and/or vulgar lyrics, associated with violence, drug use, and strong sexual content. If this were to be challenged by anyone with legal standing, a court of law would examine the other by-laws and look for consistency. The NBA would have a hard time explaining how they reject gaudy jewelry, baggy pants, and sneakers on players in order to create a more professional environment, and then begin playing 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and Eminem during live game play to create a livelier and more entertaining fan experience.

Mixed messages? You tell me.

Billy Billups 2006

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    This dress code is stupid


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