Tattoos and athletics: More than just ink, tattoos are art

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Tattoos are widely observed to bring forth and insinuate a self image that a person is a criminal or has gang affiliations, yet this is not the case.

When examining the number of tattoos in intercollegiate athletics, the quantity of tattoos is continuing to expand.

College athletes are generally well-rounded individuals who strive to do well in life. Their tattoos do not diminish this.

Contact sports such as football and basketball have a much higher rate of tattooed players than athletes that play cerebral sports, like baseball and golf.

“There is a higher percentage of athletes with tattoos that play contact sports. I think it’s the overall sport culture of the athlete that makes this true,” junior basketball player DJ Christian said.

“When kids who are into contact sports watch them, they often see their favorite players with a full arm sleeve of tattoos and/ or both arms covered in ink,” Christian said.

“In seeing this, it makes the kids want to be like them and get similar tattoos or fill their arms up with tattoos on a certain arm,” Christian said.

The three red stars on Christian’s left forearm could not resemble a stronger meaning.

“I have three red stars on my left forearm that symbolize the blood, sweat and tears I shed for my mother, sister and daughter,” Christian said.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has no official rules regarding visible tattoos on student athletes.

Yet if a tattoo contains salacious images or obscenities the university should be obliged to intervene and make the athlete cover his or her tattoos.

Pacific University does not have any policies against tattoos, rightfully so as tattoos are a form of self expression.

“I don’t think having tattoos does anything to my personal image as an athlete nor a person,” Christian said. “I think people that have tattoos are more open minded.”

Pacific has many students with tattoos and not all are athletes.

Tattoos have become moreacceptableinrecentyears and have also become very popular.

With the spike in popularity, and the statistic of 48% student athletes on Pacific’s campus, it proves why the Pacific student body appears to have some remarkable tattoos.

Senior baseball player Tanner Mansell has many tattoos including one down the side of his ribs that reads “Integrity.”

“I have integrity tattooed down my side and this tattoo means the most to me because it is what I live my life off of,” Mansell said.“A man that lives with integrity is a man I can respect.”

Mansell expresses his love for his tattoo.

“It is in lain, which is the root of our language,” Mansell said. “Integrity is the root of my well-being.”

Tattoos have true meanings to the people with them, thus expressing their life stories, struggles and accomplishments.tattoos2Contributed


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