More than ever, athletes are tatted up. In every sport, we see body art covering the arms and legs of some of the biggest stars in the game. The stigma around tattoos seems to have been lifted and most wear their ink proudly. But some shouldn’t because they have awful tattoos. Just dumb stuff, in bad colors and in stupid locations. And for the record, I have “Get To The Chopper” tattooed on my stomach in large gothic letters, so I know a thing or two. Let’s look around sports and call out the worst tattoos we can find.
One of the earliest dudes I can remember in sports to rock lots of ink. In the 2000’s, the wrestler added “Sara” on his throat for his then wife. What a terrible idea. It doesn’t look good there, it’s a brand more than anything, like “don’t fuck my husband”. Well they split up and he remarried and then covered up the art. But the Taker obviously didn’t learn his lesson because he went and got both his daughter’s names on either side of his neck.
Chris “Birdman” Andersen
Let’s keep the neck theme going. NBA player, Chris Andersen, and his “Free Bird” piece is an absolute horror. The colors, the size. It’s clown nightmare. I get that he’s going for freak show meets other freak show look but it just doesn’t work. The sleeve tattoos look fine but that neck takes it all to an ugly place. This isn’t your high school locker, it’s your body, show some respect.
Not the face! Is something I scream when I fight, but it’s also something you should say at the tattoo parlor. But legendary boxer Mike Tyson don’t care. And this art famously communicates that. He is the original king of awful sports tattoos. Crazy to think after a full career of being punched in the face, Tyson retires and is like all “those fists didn’t destroy me, maybe I’ll try a needle.” Well played sir.
Like a frat boy on spring break, Brian reps the barb wire bicep wrap. Made famous by Pam Anderson in the movie Barb Wire (1996). Urlacher featured this piece on tackle, after tackle during a solid 13 year NFL career. A note a wrap tattoos, Celtic culture says if you get a band tattooed around a limb then you lose it in the afterlife. Most Celtic ink never makes a full circle around a body part. Just something to consider.
The Superman logo, which could be cool if you’re Shaq or if you played Superman in a movie or if you’re Shaq. But other than that? You shouldn’t do it. Plus all the black ink doesn’t look great with that cartoon “K”. It also kind of crooked. The scripty tattoos of his kids names are fine but why add to the same arm? Put it somewhere else. It’s so sloppy now. Maybe the worst ink in the NHL. For shame. May Shaq have mercy on your soul.
We are all lucky this dummy and his Stacy’s Mom-esque pin-up tattoo are retired from Major League Baseball. He may not be a household name but his ink is famously bad. Actually in a way, this piece is great because it lets everyone know, from very far away, that this guys sucks, real hard. Thanks Scott, for the heads up on not wasting our time with you. I’m sure there is some backstory but I don’t think anyone cares.
Mr Beckham has “Brooklyn” tramp-stamped on him. It’s one of his kids names. He has ink for all his offspring in various places but why there? Who is that for? I can only guess it’s for the stranger sexing him from behind. Later, they are getting dressed and it’s like “what’s with the Brooklyn ink? I know you aren’t from there” and Becs will be all “it’s for my son.” Also, why does the footballer have the AND1 mascot with angel wings on his back? I thought that was a basketball thing.
The fact that athletes sport tattoos probably has helped make body art so commonplace. Let these role models teach us the lesson that you need to plan out your tattoo and really think about it before you commit. Add your favorite tattoo travesty in the comments below.