NBA teams go to great lengths to attract free agents during the offseason. Whether it's putting a potential signee's image on a billboard, creating a virtual reality experience or even locking a player in his own house until he signs a contract, the league has seen everything over the years.
Well, almost everything.
The Clippers recently convinced Blake Griffin to re-sign with the team on a five-year, $173 million contract. According to Marc J. Spears of ESPN, one of the tools the team used to coerce him was a T-shirt, which a lot of people on Twitter find pretty offensive.
The shirt features Griffin at the top of an illustration containing the faces of Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein and Nelson Mandela with the word "Pioneers" written across the bottom.
Many folks on Twitter found the idea of comparing Griffin to famous world leaders and cultural icons appalling and/or downright laughable. Here's a sampling of some of the reactions:
That T-shirt is one of the most tone deaf things I've ever seen. Free agency has been hilariously ridiculous so far.— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) July 1, 2017
Someone please make a tshirt of Blake punching the trainer in the style of Luetze's Washington Crossing the Delaware— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) July 1, 2017
Neither the Clippers nor Griffin have issued a response to the shirt as of yet. After scoring a huge free agency win by getting Griffin to re-sign, this is probably the last kind of public relations nightmare the Clippers wanted to deal with.