The Warriors’ Andre Iguodala, after a foul by the Cavaliers’ Matthew Dellavedova throughout Game 1 the the 2016 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena top top June 2, 2016 in Oakland, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

This year’s playoffs have been hard on NBA players’ groins. Draymond environment-friendly kicked things off as soon as he swung his leg in between Steven Adams’ legs during the western Conference Finals. Dahntay Jones clocked Bismack Biyombo in the testicles in the eastern Conference Finals, Matthew Dellavedova punched Andre Iguodala’s crotch in video game 1 of the NBA Finals, and also then environment-friendly struck again v a “retaliatory swipe” come the groin of LeBron James in video game 4, a relocate which acquired him suspended native Monday night’s game 5.

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These below-the-belt hits elevated a slew the questions around the players’ intentions and also what constitutes a flagrant foul. However it also brought to mind a more fundamental issue: Why weren’t any of these males wearing cups?

Because, despite recent evidence to the contrary, playing experienced basketball isn’t all that perilous because that one’s household jewels. Earlier this year, ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh created a considerable account that testicular trauma in the NBA. For the piece, he spoke to Dr. Stephen Strup, the cook of urology in ~ the university of Kentucky, who explained that the discomfort of wearing a cup isn’t worth it provided the minimal danger of gaining hit in the nether regions. “There isn’t sufficient of an concern to undertake a cup,” Strup said. “It’s tough to generate enough pressure for major injuries to take place in basketball. You check out the men go out, they’re uncomfortable and they can’t duty a small bit, however usually they’re back in a few minutes.”

Manu Ginobili wouldn’t agree v that assessment. The san Antonio spurs shooting safety underwent testicular surgery and also missed more than a month of competition earlier this year after taking a knee come the groin. ~ above his return, the veteran said he would certainly be taking protective measures.

manuginobili will certainly wear protective cup. 'That’s just thing I’ve acquired to get used to. Something we don’t resolve but 1000s that athletes do.'

— Mike Monroe (

Football players normally don’t wear cups either, and haven’t for some time, follow to a 2005 short article by Daniel Akst. As Akst explained, the NFL’s cup aversion needs to do v “speed and performance.”

The best reason to wear an athletic supporter is therefore you can wear a security cup. Once again, for the uninitiated: Jockstraps come in two flavors: plain, and also a type of marsupial variation that accepts a removable cup do of tough plastic. A well-placed blow in this an ar is not just agonizing; the can ruin a testicle. <…> I had actually heard that NFL football player don"t wear cups yet was still astonished as soon as Joe Skiba, assistant devices manager of the new York Giants, provided confirmation. "The majority of players feel that much less is more, especially padding listed below the torso," he defined via e-mail. “They feel the it hinders their speed and performance.”

In a 2013 short article for ESPN, David Fleming estimates the Lions’ Nate Burleson as saying “it’s one of those points that you shot to be together fast and as sleek as possible, for this reason I simply never found any type of use because that it.” one more player, Russell Allen, called Fleming, “It makes mobility difficult. They obtain in the way of moving around. It’s choose a big, hard plastic thing, and also you’re do the efforts to move around and it affects her agility and your capacity to move.” Bucs linebacker Dekoda Watson added that players “have too lot pride because that it.”

Soccer players likewise eschew cups for the many part, i m sorry is why you’ll view them clutching your groins once they line up in a wall surface to block a totally free kick.

Paraguayan players form a wall surface to block a free kick during a 2011 Copa America match against Venezuela in Salta, Argentina, July 13, 2011.

Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

Hockey players—who risk acquiring struck through a block of rubber traveling at peak speeds—do opt because that testicular protection. The Edmonton Oilers’ Matt Hendricks take it a slap shot come the crotch in January the was so an effective it cracked his plastic cup virtually in half.

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RussellAthletic for conserving my bacon tonight! #closecall

— Matt Hendricks (

According come this ESPN post from 2011—also by America’s leading groin-based wordsmith David Fleming—about fifty percent of pro baseball players wear cups. The Cleveland Indians’ Juan Uribe likely wished he was in that group on Monday as soon as a grounder took a mean hop and connected v his undercarriage.

In 2013, New York ran with the history of “baseball players that took their chances and also went cupless.” among those to be Carl Crawford, who experienced a testicular contusion after gaining nailed by a pickoff throw. Afterward, Crawford summed up the attitude of his athletic brethren: “I don’t undertake a cup. Never ever wore a cup. I perform too numerous moves to wear a cup. ... I’m still not going to wear a cup.”