The NBA’s problem with profanity

Editor’s note: This story contains explicit language. Sports Illustrated typically censors profanity and vulgar language but is making an exception due to the subject of this story.

This story was originally published on May 11, 2022. It was included in a year-end list of SI’s best stories of 2022.


Sometime in the last year, NBA executives noticed something alarming—like, really fucking alarming: press conferences peppered with profanities, f-bombs flying freely. S-bombs and other assorted bombs, too. So before it could turn into a full-blown shitstorm, the league decided to act.

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