Police Matter Surrounding a Rapper Leads Grizzlies to Shelf Bobblehead Promotion
The 2018-19 season has not proven pleasant for the Memphis Grizzlies, who find themselves way out of the playoff hunt in the NBA’s Western Conference. The organization had been hoping to inject a little levity into what has been a sloppy campaign by issuing a bobblehead featuring rookie sensation Jaren Jackson Jr. last Friday. However, his affiliation with a rapper sought by Tennessee police led the franchise to scrap the initial design for the commemorative, owing to its depiction of Jackson doing a dance made famous by the rapper.
In an instance of you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up, the Grizzlies would have immortalized the first-year star striking the pose the moves made famous in “Shoot” by BlocBoy JB, a convicted felon whom the Shelby County Sheriff’s office is seeking for possession of a handgun, among other alleged missteps. The sheriff's office is nine days into its investigation of BlocBoy JB, so since Jackson, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, considers himself a fan of the Memphis-based artist, the Grizzlies announced that they will still honor the playmaker, but through a reconfigured bobblehead.
REMINDER: Jaren Jackson Jr. ‘Shoot Dance’ Figure giveaway postponed for later date.
Details 🔽 https://t.co/I3Q0k4HLOE
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) February 22, 2019
Jackson’s connection to BlocBoy JB also includes footage of the 19-year-old showing off his dance moves to “Shoot,” with the Grizzlies occasionally relying on the video as in-game entertainment. While innocent-until-proven-guilty should always reign supreme, teams that cement promotional plans need to take into account the proper nature of said marketing concepts and should feel shame-free when deciding, for whatever reason, to pull the products.
Such cancellations have not escaped our attention, with three matters involving Major League Baseball clubs and one surrounding Marvel proving that morals and potential controversies often serve as guidelines for companies to pull back on or eradicate an idea to build their brand, especially after realizing that going through with a promotion might do far more harm than good. With the Grizzlies situation, the timing could not have been more frustrating for a club looking to draw a large crowd, but management deserves kudos for letting fans know that through a voucher, they will still be able to have a plastic depiction of the now-injured 6-foot-11 power forward/center.