The National Basketball Association is consistently a league that set trends in the fashion world. Players on and off-court swag is oftentimes imitated and duplicated by so many fans. The latest on-court style of ninja-like headbands took on a life of its own this past year. Players like Jimmy Butler, Jrue Holiday, and Jarrett Allen helped make the style popular. Despite the cultural phenomenon, the NBA has nixed the fashion statement almost as fast as it started.
Rumors and reports began to surface last week, implying the league was planning to ban players from wearing the ninja headbands Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed that the league would no longer allow players to dawn the headbands. The NBA cited potential concerns about player safety issues the ninja headbands could create.
“The NBA notified teams that it won’t allow players to wear ‘ninja-style headwear’ this season, NBA spokesman Mike Bass tells ESPN. The headwear hasn’t been through the league approval process. Teams have raised concerns regarding safety and consistency of size, length.”
I’m not entirely sure what safety concerns could be proposed by wearing a headband with a small tail at the end of it, but the NBA knows if they can hide behind the guise of safety, there won’t be very much push back.
Players are claiming that the explanation they received for not being able to wear the headband was that they were not professional.
Mike Scott, along with some other NBA players felt like this was a bit of coded language, and silly.
To a lesser extent, this feels like when the NBA changed the dress code during the Allen Iverson-era of basketball. They were ripped for that, but decided not to change their rules. It doesn’t seem likely they will budge on this, but maybe after evaluation, if “safety” can be addressed, we will see the headbands on the court again.