Does the NBA have a less restrictive approach on player self-expression?
Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas seems to think so. The dominant defensive back tweeted his frustrations with the NFL on Sunday night, drawing comparisons to the NBA, which was broadcasting its 2016 All-Star Game.
Although it's not entirely clear, the source of criticism with his own league seems to revolve around the disparity between its own policies and the NBA's promotion of individual athlete personalities—allowing the sport to showcase signature sneakers, highlighting unique pregame rituals and supporting emphatic jams (and consequently, their celebrations).
The NFL by contrast has quite notably handed out fines for off-colored footwear and has even put restrictions on some of the more elaborate touchdown dances (or goalpost dunks).
While football continues to reign supreme, the Pro Bowl continues to see a general lack of interest from its fanbase. Would granting players greater liberty to be themselves be a solution?
On the other hand, one must consider the actual size of the respective teams' rosters. A squad of 15 players versus 53 leaves considerably more space to shine.
Regardless of which side one chooses, Thomas' comment should certainly give plenty of food for thought.