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3/28/2008 02:34:00 PM

Athletes' Worst (Visible) Tattoos

Jeremy Shockey
Jeremy Shockey went for a patriotic theme when he got inked.
Robert Beck/SI
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com

The latest trend in athlete tattooing seems to be the name-across-the-shoulders stamp, as seen here by Vince Young and DeShawn Stevenson. It may not be a step up from the classic armband, but at least they aren't visible when the guys are in uniform. Here are my five worst visible tattoos in sports...

1. Jason Williams: Miami's point guard has "WHIT" tattooed across the knuckles on his right hand, and "EBOY" across his left. Social statement? Bad night out? Either way, quite a statement. Maybe a little obvious.

2. Joel Zumaya: The hardthrowing Tigers reliever has flames tattooed on his forearms. Which is exciting and all, except that they're not only on his throwing arm, but his non-throwing arm as well. But man can he move that glove fast!

3. Robert Swift: The perpetually injured Sonics center left high school as a quiet, promising big man. Since then he's changed up his look a little. Perhaps not for the better.

4. Jeremy Shockey: I'm not criticizing the content of Shockey's tattoo -- an enormous red, white and blue tribute to America -- but rather that said tattoo makes Shockey appear to be a huge fan of the Muppets.

5. Mike Tyson: By now we're used to it. OK, can we ever get used to Mike Tyson with a huge tattoo on his face?

Which athlete has the worst visible tattoo? Let us know below...

Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
posted by SI.com | View comments |


Posted: March 28, 2008 4:14 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I never really looked at Mike Tyson's facial tattoo closely. It's probably hard for some to see, but it's clearly his name stylized. Top is Mike and bottom section is Tyson. It's true, but most won't see it I'm sure and that's the intention.
Posted: March 28, 2008 5:15 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How can you have any list that consists of sports tattoos without mention of Rodman????

He could be the entire list -

#1: On his _______
#2: His _________ ink
#3: The one on his _______

You all get the point.....
Posted: March 28, 2008 5:54 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
It doesn't say Mike and Tyson. It is a Maori tribal tat. The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. It is called a Moko. Which is a face tattoo. Although traditionally, the men would get their whole face tattooed and the woman would just get their chins. It is also done in a traditional tapping of a stick basically into the skin and hurts. I am sure Tyson didn't get done that way. Being the piece of crap animal he is, he probably got it done in jail.
Posted: March 28, 2008 7:24 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I am not seeing it...
Posted: March 29, 2008 12:17 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
They're all dumb. The tattoo fad is one that a lot of these people will regret when gravity works its magic on their skin. Lemings.
Posted: March 29, 2008 9:26 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
richard jefferson's "R.J. on his arm, looks like a little kid wrote it
Jason Williams. By a mile.
Hands down, David Clinger.

Pro cyclist who got a Maori war-mask full facial tattoo, just prior to signing with a new team.

Posted: March 29, 2008 5:10 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Greg Ostertag has the worst tatoo by far. Fred Flinstone on his shin summed up that sorry jerks whole career. What a joke that guy was.
You gotta be a knucklehead to get a tat in the first place, they don't look good at all and most people have gotten on because it's the "IN" thing to do. But can you imagine if you're the kid who turns 12 and your mom shows up to pick you up at school with a gnarly tat on her bicep?

I would be hating life....LMAO!
Zumaya needs to pick up the flame glove of Van Leemer from "Summer Catch" to go along with his tats.
Posted: March 30, 2008 4:51 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Deron Williams orange tat on his left arm is terrible.


Plus, he has "no guts" and "no glory" on the backs of his arms, and the letters appear to be dripping in blood.


Great player, bad taste in art.
Posted: March 30, 2008 5:47 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Fred Flintstone? Only a guy like Greg Ostertag would be that brazen.
Posted: March 30, 2008 6:51 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I can't believe you forgot Dennis Rodman.
Posted: March 30, 2008 8:18 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How idiotic is it to judge someone based upon what they happen to like. They're athletes and first and foremost, people. Why don't you try and judge them for their performance? You must have been picked on really bad in your pathetic life! Why don't you just state that you don't like tatoos? I think they're all pretty sweet! Okay, maybe Tyson's is odd, but again, his life! Keep on hatin'!
Posted: March 30, 2008 10:07 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about Renaldo Balkman? Hustle on one arm. More on the other arm.
What tats do you have Lang? If the answer is zero (as I'm inclined to believe) then you shouldn't be allowed to even comment on them.
Posted: March 30, 2008 2:14 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Brock Lesnar's chest tattoo.
Posted: March 30, 2008 3:24 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Dennis rodman's tattoos were disjointed, one style next to another. Some seemed done by pros, others by friends...
Posted: March 30, 2008 6:24 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How is Luke Walton left off of this list? He by far has the weakest tattoo of any player in the NBA, if not all of pro sports.

A tribal tattoo of him and his brothers as stick figures dancing around a fire? Give me a break.
Posted: March 30, 2008 10:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
damon stoudamire has his grandma's face on his arm
Posted: March 31, 2008 12:59 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Zumaya doesn't belong on the list. Not with all the prison quality ink floating around the NBA that you missed.
Posted: March 31, 2008 12:28 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
i know someone said it already, but richard jefferson's "rj" with basketball tat looks like my 4 year old cousin did it. he should get a 5 year old to write "i are cool" on his other arm
Posted: March 31, 2008 2:08 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
zumaya has flames on his throwing hand now...
Posted: March 31, 2008 2:50 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Vince Young has the tat because he can't remember his name.
Posted: March 31, 2008 5:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
dennis scott former nba guard has a tat of him self on upper arm
Posted: March 31, 2008 7:59 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Please provide me with information on how you can be considered a judge on what is either a good or bad tattoo
Posted: March 31, 2008 9:32 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The Undertakers "Sara" tattoo on his throat. Never....ever ever ever...get a chick's name tatted on your throat...ain't no erasing that.

Posted: March 31, 2008 11:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Walton's tatoo is no tribal, its a nod to his (and his father's) love of the Grateful Dead (Dancing skeletons) would have said Rodman, but those Deron Williams tats, yikes

"Great player, bad taste in art."
Pretty much says it all
Posted: April 1, 2008 7:14 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Mike Tyson is an athlete???????????????
Posted: April 1, 2008 7:33 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Allen Iverson has the best tattoos ever. Hes straight up.
Posted: April 1, 2008 12:10 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Kobe has the ugliest tattoos by far.
Posted: April 1, 2008 2:20 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
dude, cherokee parks had tattoos that were incredibly goofy... its always bad when the goofy-looking white guys get heavy ink, like swift from the sonics, parks, some guys i knew in college, etc LOL
Posted: April 1, 2008 3:46 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Luke Walton's tattoo is him and his brothers and it's not a fire it's a basketball!
Posted: April 1, 2008 3:48 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I've never understood why guys get their names tattooed on themselves...are they afraid they might forget them?
Posted: April 19, 2008 9:12 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
It's between Vince Young of the NFL and DeShawn Stevenson of NBA. They both have their last names across the top of their back, a la their uniforms. So, they're in uniform even when they're not wearing one... Young even has the V. in front of the YOUNG, to not confuse anyone, apparently. Stevenson plans to get his number put in under his name soon. Horrible idea, BTW.


This one's pretty damn funny as well concerning a 23-year-old New Zealand rugby fan:


Alan, apparently has some repressed anger over a bad tattoo, LOL! To the person defending the judging of these athlete's tattoos (while judging the people on this board): How idiotic is it to start off with that phrase and end the comment with "Keep on hatin'!"? I love people on the internet...
Posted: April 28, 2008 1:54 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Carmelo Anthony has the Dumbest tat! He has the (WB) on his left chest.
Posted: May 1, 2008 4:52 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I've got to go with Shaq's Superman tattoo, anyone with the arrogance or stupidity of putting that symbol on them deserves a smack in the head...
Posted: May 3, 2008 12:06 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How does Shokeys Eagle look like the muppets?
josh hamilton!
Posted: May 16, 2008 6:53 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
what about that "thing" on Delonte West's neck...what is that a mosquito?
Posted: May 19, 2008 2:27 AM   by Anonymous Mickey
Kobe's crown that look like his little girl did it with her eyes closed. I love tats but his is dumb.
Posted: May 23, 2008 1:51 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What is your idea of a good tattoo vs a bad tattoo? All the tattoos that you mentioned are done well, and they are a personal preference. As for Mike Tysons "huge" tattoo, that is a cultural thing. I myself have a facial tattoo that is 4 times the size of Tyson's, and it is a biomech style.

Before you start bagging on tattoos, get an informed and non-biased opinion first. Look at the art behind the tatto first, look at the person, and then form an opinion. It's like any other form of art, and it as per preference...
Posted: June 18, 2008 4:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Robert Swift should take a page from Cherokee Parks, tattoos do not make you tougher or alleviate goofiness.
Posted: August 19, 2008 10:19 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Starbury, who just got his logo on his temple
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