2018 NBA FINALS: REMATCH - Warriors reach fourth straight NBA Finals with win over Houston#NBARoundup#NBAPlayoffs#NBAFinals #NBANews#GoldenState#Celtics#Rockets#ClevelandCavaliers#KevinDurant#JamesHarden#BradStevens#JaylenBrown#LeBronJameshttps://t.co/nqkYIxJmDX pic.twitter.com/xlRvIPOVm4— PhatzNewsRoom (@RealPhatsBlog) May 29, 2018
Over the weekend, NBA fans noticed a disturbing design flaw in the Eastern and Western Conference Finals hats that the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors received after earning their way to yet another championship.
The hats, designed by New Era, were the same for the Eastern and Western conference champions, with an unfortunate logo placement that made the hats appear to be an advertisement for the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Several Twitter users called out New Era and the NBA for failing to notice the off-putting design.
The gun lobbyist group is a controversial organization that has particularly found itself under fire recently amid the nation’s ongoing school shooting epidemic. Because of this, the design of the hats is especially egregious.
Congratulations on the Warriors reaching the 2018 NRA Finals pic.twitter.com/CJHnKrHht1— Phil Murphy (@Phil_Sports) May 29, 2018
Looks like the @NBA was smart to make generic Finals hats. All they had to do now is glue on the winning team's patch. Only problem is that it looks like 2018 NRA Finals lol. #NRA #LeBron pic.twitter.com/iOayXOTUCv— William Weske (@WilliamWeske) May 28, 2018
Nice hats!!! The Cavs and Warriors are both going to the NRA Finals!!!!! pic.twitter.com/YRGCeOG3Jk— Hazim (@hazim_ideis) May 29, 2018
Ironically, several NBA players and coaches have previously either denounced the NRA directly or expressed support for gun control, which includes the Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.
"We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people's lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they've financed their campaign for them," Kerr said after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day that claimed 17 lives.
With the exception of Kerr and a few other outspoken NBA players, the league has mostly steered clear of politics, especially amid the ongoing political turmoil the NFL is embroiled in. Therefore, this hat fiasco likely boils down to a simple coincidence that was overlooked by the design team and manufacturers.
As unappealing as the design may be, it's probably not intended as an endorsement for the NRA, unless there’s someone at New Era who's in cahoots with the NBA to promote subliminal political messages to the public, which is not completely impossible but a bit farfetched.
In any case, the ordeal has become a point of contention on social media, therefore the NBA should clear these rumors up quickly because more unfounded conspiracy theories are the last thing we need floating around in the current political climate.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters