Sports | September 10, 2019 11:07 am

NBA Bans “Ninja-Style Headwear” Worn By Star Jimmy Butler and Others

The NBA's competition committee has safety concerns about the looseness of the headwear

Jimmy Butler and Other NBA Players Can No Longer Wear "Ninja-Style Headwear"
The headband of Jimmy Butler has been banned. (Hannah Foslien/Getty)
Getty Images

In a move that involves one of the oddest phrases you’ll ever see used by a professional sports league, the NBA has banned its players from wearing “ninja-style headwear.”

Regularly worn by players including the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler, Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans and Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the ninja-style headbands were discussed by the NBA’s competition committee, and a source told ESPN some members expressed safety concerns about the looseness of the headwear.

“The ninja-style headwear is not part of the NBA uniform and hasn’t been through the league approval process,” Bass told ESPN in a statement. “Teams have raised concerns regarding safety and consistency of size, length and how they are tied, which requires a thorough review before consideration of any rule change. When some players began wearing them last season, we didn’t want to cause a disruption by intervening midseason, but we notified our teams in May that they would not be part of this season’s uniforms.”

Interestingly, former headband-wearer Mike Scott of the Philadelphia 76ers said he was told Nike pushed for the band ban because the look was “unprofessional.”

The ban drew various reactions on Twitter, most of them tinged with a bit of humor given the subject matter.

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