Unbothered king Jared McCain defies the haters with nail polish deal: ‘sorry if that offends you’

Composite image shows McCain talking to camera and showing off his painted nails, McCain on court during a match, and another close up of just McCain's nails

US college basketball player Jared McCain has signed an NIL (name, image, likeness) deal with beauty and nail polish brand Sally Hansen: and he does not care what the haters think.

McCain, who plays for the Duke Blue Devils, has been appearing on court with painted nails for the entire season. On Friday (29 March), he showcased his routine in a TikTok video, explaining the method he uses to paint his nails.

He explained that painting his nails is a way for him to have some “self-care time, I think everyone should do some self-care for themselves”.

“For me, that’s nail painting. Sorry if that offends any of you guys.” He then endorsed the Sally Hansen insta-dry range of nail polish, adding that he started painting his nails to help him to stop biting them.


Y’all have been asking. @Sally Hansen is the GOAT 🐐! There’s no better nail polish in the game 💅💅 #SallyHansenPartner

♬ original sound – Jaredmccain24

“There’s really no crazy reason to it – it helps me not bite my nails,” he explained. “I went into a salon one time and I decided to pick out a colour, and I thought it looked nice.

“I know a lot of people disagree – a lot of people don’t like it. But I’m just gonna be myself and do what I think looks nice.

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One of the reasons why I kept painting my nails is I had a game after I painted my nails and I ended up playing really well. I’m not crazy superstitious, but I thought it looked nice – thought it would help me play better. 

“So far, it’s worked so I’m just gonna keep doing it, I guess.”

McCain’s video closely follows a controversy that broke out earlier this week about college football star Caleb Williams.

Williams was caught on camera while watching a basketball game and waved cheerfully, showing off his pink lipstick, pink nails, pink phone and pink wallet. His style choices sparked a homophobic backlash online from angry sports fans, who took to X (formerly Twitter) en masse to condemn Williams’ “girly” appearance.

NFL Network host Kyle Brandt later went on slam ‘caveman Twitter’ for their ‘diatribe’ about Williams.

In an almost-uninterrupted five-minute rant, also posted to X/Twitter, Brandt roasted the football fans who had mocked Caleb’s nails – including those who called him “Gayleb Williams” – and pulled no punches whatsoever.

Replying to one comment about the fact that pink nails don’t belong in a locker room, he said: “Those are the words of the most basic bad radio caller to a terrible radio show in 1992. What the hell do you know? … Do you know that the personalities and perspectives in this league have evolved dramatically?”