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Celtics rookie Jared Sullinger promises to stay tattoo free

Sep 5, 2012, 10:17 AM EDT

Jared Sullinger, Andre Drummond AP

While they may not be the majority there are NBA players — big name NBA players — who do not have tattoos. Dwyane Wade, Steve Nash, Ray Allen, Grant Hill, Jeremy Lin, to name a few.

And you can add Jared Sullinger to the list.

The Celtics rookie tells Jessica Camerato at that he is not getting any ink.

“No tattoos,” he recently told “I promised my mother. You know if you break a promise, you’re not going to be living for the next days (laughs). I want to live as long as I can, so I’m not going to break that promise.”

The number of tattoos on NBA players seems to bother some fans. Usually older fans, some of whom buy luxury boxes. But to me it’s a generational thing — it’s not just young basketball players that get ink. Roll up the long sleeves on the just hired MBA at some large accounting firm and you likely see tattoos. It’s much more common for both sexes now, it’s accepted in a way it was not 30 years ago.

Which is fine. In the NBA, in an accounting firm, it should be about merit not looks. Do the work well and whether or not you got a barbed wire tattoo around your arm shouldn’t matter. (Although really, barbed wire? Why that one?)

Just don’t look for one on Sullinger. Now we’ll see if he can do the job.

  1. jameswestphal - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    I work for a big 4 accounting firm and my boss, my subordinate, and myself all have tattoos. Old, white men are the only ones that have issues with tattoos, and they screwed the world up

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      It’s really amazing how quickly things change.
      My Uncle is a top executive (3rd in command) for a Major Adhesives Manufacturer.
      When I say major…I mean the biggest of them all
      While I was in High School (20+ years ago) I got my ears pierced.
      He was in town visiting and my Father asked him what he thought about my pierced ears.
      My Uncles reply….
      “If I had one opening and it came down to you and the other guy and you two were equally qualified in all aspects…I would pick the other guy for the job because he doesn’t have holes in his ears.”
      His reasoning was he had absolutely nothing else to break the tie. The holes in my ears represented a bad decision. Naturally, the other guy has made bad decisions in his life.
      But he didn’t have visual proof of that.
      My uncle is an ex Tennis Pro and considered very hip.
      But even HE uses such things when evaluating talent.
      In my opinion only…pierced ears are very much like tattoo’s.
      Great idea when you are young. But wait 20+ years and you realize it wasn’t such a “great” idea.

    • 1historian - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      the skin is nature’s defense against all kinds of yukky things – disease, etc. As well as the admittedly infinitesimal chance of infection.

      what is the name of the firm you work for – so I can avoid them.

      your comment is disqualified for being exceptionally, especially and relentlessly idiotic – especially the last sentence.

      FYI – I am an old white man.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 6, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        Hahaha! You can’t be serious.
        #1) I own my own business. I do the hiring.
        #2) It was the company my UNCLE works for.
        The biggest adhesive Manufacturer in the World.
        #3) We both know my post was sincere, genuine…and 100% truthful.
        #4) We both also know my last sentence is on point.
        After all…as “an old white man” you should know better than anyone that your best
        decisions were not made in your teens and 20’s.
        #5) With a handle like “1historian” the irony is making me laugh till’ my side hurts.
        #6) You are an “exceptional” moron.
        #7) You are”especially” moronic
        #8) You are “relentlessly” moronic
        #9) Your ignorance is staggering.
        #10) Look up the definition of the word. Then do your homework the next time so your
        ignorance isn’t so glaring.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 6, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        I sincerely apologize Historian. With your “I am an old white man” comment I truly thought you were responding to me (and calling me an idiot). Again…I apologize.

    • cosanostra71 - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      I don’t personally have any problem with tattoos (I would never personally get one but that’s beside the point) but I can totally understand the point of considering them unprofessional. It seems a bit ridiculous to stereotype the way you did however. Old, white men aren’t the only ones who have issues with this, and your final statement is racist.

      • akmgiants - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        yeah all those young black men, and middle age asians totally were behind imperialism. 1historian, what are you some kind of uneducated germophobic? didnt realize you can get infects by touch inked people. and nba players had a problem with Magic? hope you can educated them about contagious tattoo diseases

      • cosanostra71 - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:15 PM

        no, you’re right. White people are responsible for all that is wrong with the world.

    • BrownsTown - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:00 PM

      In how many Tough Mudder/Warrior Dash events have you participated? I’ve got $100 on at least three.

  2. seanb20124 - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Go get your tattoos and also get your EBT card.

    • dysraw1 - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      stupid is has stupid does

  3. latchbeam - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    He is now my new favorite NBA player!

    • pellypell - Sep 5, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      ^^^Old White Man^^^

  4. rocirius - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I thought there was a law requiring all citizens to get at least one tattoo by age 20. He’s taking a big risk! Seriously, I think it’s great to see a young player bucking the fad. I used to think about getting one, but now that it’s become a matter of keeping up with everybody else…

  5. bigbenh8tr - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    I work for a big 4 accounting firm and my boss, my subordinate, and myself all have tattoos. Old, white men are the only ones that have issues with tattoos, and they screwed the world up

    Old white men screwed the world up when they founded the US in 1776 or when you pulled a stereotype out of nowhere that wasn’t implied in this article? I work with a number of people who have tats, but they keep them covered at work because it is UNPROFESSIONAL. The NBA is a professional sport with a dress code off the court, correct? Nobody is going to ever attempt to impose rules that cross the barrier of tattoos in the nba, but what is wrong with not wanting to look at sharpee all over someone’s body like graffiti on the side of a building?

    To each his own, no reason to make it about race, I work with a number of white males/females with tattoos. You make yourself sound less intelligent and close-minded by immediately creating a stereotype. Are you sure you even went to college and work at a big accounting firm?

    • hokiegajanisgod - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      Sorry bigbenh8tr, I think what jameswestphal meant to say is this:

      Old, white men are the only ones that have issues with tattoos, and THOSE WHO WORK AT ‘BIG FOUR’ ACCOUNTING FIRMS screwed the world up.

      Like the dead and buried (and good riddance) Arthur Andersen, if the ‘big four’ had ANY ounce of integrity, the meltdown in 2008 could have been avoided.

  6. hokiegajanisgod - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Why does this even qualify as ‘news’????

    No wonder must journalists get paid so little…like a bathroom attendant, anyone can do their job.

    • pellypell - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      This is a basketball blog, Sully plays basketball. It’s a unique angle and not meant to be taken super seriously. You sir, must be a blast at parties.


      • hokiegajanisgod - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        Sir, I AM the party.

        Take your ‘Frankie goes to Hollywood’ attitude and shove it.

  7. rocirius - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Pellypell = racist, or at least prejudiced lol

    • pellypell - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      Huh? What did I say that was even remotely racist?

      While I don’t discriminate based on skin color, I do when it comes to intelligence you moron.

  8. rocirius - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Sullinger’s mom doesn’t like them…I doubt she’s an old white man lol

  9. florida727 - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Personally, I think tattoos are stupid. You’re essentially defacing your body for life. For what? So some “artist” can stick needles in your arm (or wherever) for a couple hours? If you need something written on you permanently to create your “identity”, you have a much deeper problem than actually getting a tattoo. But hey, it’s your money to waste. I waste mine playing golf :)

  10. mazblast - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Old white women have problems with tattoos also. And middle-aged white men and women. And a lot of black men and women I know. And some Latinos. And some Asians.

    It’s not just the quantity of tats that annoy me, but also the bad artwork. I’ve seen prison tattoos that look better than some of the garbage NBA players have on their bodies.

  11. rocirius - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    @pellypell: I guess you’re just prejudiced. You called me an old white man because I like Sullinger’s stance on tattoos, then you called me a moron because I pointed out your prejudice. I just pointed out the obvious based on your post. If your I.Q. is over 160 you would be correct to think you are more intelligent than me. Either way, discrimination and juvenile name calling is a waste of energy.

    • pellypell - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      Well you aren’t intelligent enough to know it was a joke based on the commentary by Kurt, smart man.

      • pellypell - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:49 PM

        PS. Relax man

  12. BrownsTown - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Good for him. I guess he doesn’t need to “express himself” by trying to do what everyone else is seemingly doing. If you get a tatoo and are white, under 50 and have never done meth, odds are you’re a douche.

  13. shankriley - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    What’s amusing is that it’s come full circle. Now you’re a rebel if you don’t have any ink. I would also say that getting some body art is just fine if you are a super rich athlete but if you have to work a 9-5 job there’s a bunch of bosses that are not cool with ink. My sister has to cover her forearm tattoo with an Ink Armor sleeve: She’s well educated but people are still judged by their appearance and tattoos are definitely a generational thing. Think before you ink…or at least get a tattoo in a place where you can hide it easily.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      “She’s well educated but people are still judged by their appearance.”
      Well stated Shankriley. This is exactly the point my Uncle was illustrating for me.
      In his scenario…I was equally qualified with the person I was paired against for the hypothetical job.
      He had no holes in his ears and I had two in my left and one in my right. We scored identically on all the assessments. We both flourished in the interviews. The difference. Holes in my ears.
      Yep…pierced ears. And today…we are talking about tattoo’s. Same concept.

  14. omniusprime - Sep 6, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Nice to see some of the young whippersnappers in the NBA being smart enough to not sport tats. I never saw any reason to have a tat, that’s for Illustrated Idiots. Just a really stupid abuse of your skin and the more tats a fool has the more ignorant that fool is.

    Just say No to being an Illustrated Idiot!

  15. mat9844 - Sep 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Body art is a personal decision by a player and as long as they play well on the court, I have no problem with it. That being said, I can see that on some players getting a tattoo is somewhat like putting a bumper sticker on a Ferrari. Only detracts from the perfect.

  16. stlouis1baseball - Sep 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    To each his/her own. I don’t like them. My Wife has one on her shoulder. She knows I don’t like them.
    She hides it when needed during social and/or professional functions.
    Personally, I think they ALL look like ink splotches. ALL. OF. THEM.
    But to clarify…they are a personal decision.

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