Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/30/12
Bill Belichick and the Patriots created Spygate. The New Orleans Saints created Bountygate. This week, The Sporting News’ David Whitley created Tattoogate. As foolish as his column was on Colin Kaepernick‘s ink, Whitley certainly succeeded in gaining the attention he desired when he published his views of the 49ers quarterback breaking the mold of the clean-cut QB. “[The] NFL quarterback is the ultimate position of influence and responsibility,” he wrote. “He is the CEO of a high-profile organization, and you don’t want your CEO to look like he just got paroled.” As imagined, many are accusing Whitley of being a racist. Whitley didn’t go into hiding though, and in an email sent to Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report, he defended his opinion and tried to clear the air. Check it out below. The opinion I was trying to reflect was that NFL quarterbacks have been largely tattoo free. Having a humble, hard-working, scandal-free QB potentially would be a breakthrough. And old farts like me who don’t fancy tattoos will just have to sigh and accept it. It didn’t occur to me that admitting I’m not a fan of body art would be admitting I don’t like African-Americans. I’m pretty sure the middle-aged women at the gym with barbed-wire tats that I referenced are white. So is Jeremy Shockey. If they were old enough to read, my two adopted African-American daughters would certainly be disappointed to find out I’m a racist. On the bright side, Tattoo-gate II is apparently good for my social media standing. I’m not much on Twitter, but I picked up about 75 new followers yesterday. I hope they’re not all from San Quentin.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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