Originally written on Player Perspective  |  Last updated 11/30/12
  Only way a person believes that tattoos suddenly make this sweet faced individual look like a thug is if they’re one chromosome from having one chromosome. So, let me guess…people learned zero, zip, nada, nothing from Allen Iverson?  Let me refresh your memory. Allen Iverson was lambasted for years for having visible tattoos and cornrows. Fastforward barely a decade after he leaves the league and cornrows and tattoos are everywhere on everybody. And don’t you feel like an idiot for ever caring in the first place? No? Well you should.  The other day I tweeted that I’m rooting for newly minted 49ers starting QB Colin Kaepernick to succeed because he’s a QB with visible tattoos. Anything that detaches people from what a quarterback “should be” or “look like” is a win in my book. I still didn’t expect some neanderthal to write something bashing Kaepernick’s tattoos and comparing him to an inmate or thug.  I have a major issue with people who want to force their norms on other people. The Judgy McJudgersons of the world don’t have to wait 15 years after Colin Kaepernick to accept a QB with tattoos the way the world did with Allen Iverson. We can do it right now. We can make a choice to be okay with whatever that man wants to do with his body. Same thing with Griffin. Many people said RG3 would have to cut his braids lest he lose out on marketing deals. It was one of the absolute most ridiculous things people said about him and I argued that it wouldn’t apply. I was right. Turns out people aren’t so annoyed by RG3′s plaits afterall.  That may have something to do with the fact that years ago Michael Vick rocked corn rows and then a huge afro as did Donovan McNabb. And now Cam Newton has a small fro even though he was told by Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to stay clean cut–including no tattoos–a rule I’d be happy to see him break if he wants to. By the way, years ago, a fro on a black man was considered anything but clean cut. And when Michael Jordan took the plunge toward a bald head people were freaked out at first. He later became one of America’s biggest sex symbols. Funny how that works.  It kills me that people can still make arguments that something is unprofessional or inappropriate just because they don’t like it. Those people don’t even have the decency to be too ashamed to say it out loud. And to hear black peoples say stuff like that (remember at one time it was inappropriate to be a black person PERIOD and in some places it still is) make those backwards arguments just frustrates me to no end.  There was a time when ANY hair style worn by black people that didn’t include a chemical relaxer or a short clip was unprofessional including dreadlocks which corporate America and the NFL are now peppered with. The biggest copout is when people claim that they don’t “personally” have a problem with it, but they’re concerned about how something looks to “others.” What a joke. If you are so evolved that you’ve trained yourself not to care how a dude wears his hair or what tattoos or brands he has then I see no reason for you to even bring it up other than, again, being an idiot.  In 2012, the best and most marketable basketball player in the world has visible tattoos, the most marketable QB has braided plaits, the best and most marketable swimmer smokes weed, the best tennis player on the globe does the Crip walk after she wins, the second best basketball player in the world curses in his raps. If you can’t accept that then I guess you will just STAY MAD. If athletes want to temper down everything to be more so-called public-friendly, that’s totally fine. But when they don’t, turning away from them is much more preferable to me than telling them what to do with their own lives and bodies. Related Posts:Team USA Mens’ Basketball Schedule (for those who don’t have it)Kevin Durant Admits It’s Hard to See Lebron James EverydayMaynard Institute Includes Me in Their 2012 Sports Journalists of Color ListWhy don’t coaches just go for it on that 4th and short?Pause The Blogging: I’m going on vacation!!
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