When I turned on my laptop this morning, the online sports pages were on fire with stories about Colin Kaepernick's tattoos. Who is Colin Kaepernick, you might ask? He's the second year backup QB for the San Fransisco 49ers who recently was placed in the starters roll when Alex Smith suffered a concussion. The kid has played amazingly well, so the job is now his, along with the scrutiny that comes with it. Part of said scrutiny concerns the prodigious amount of ink he sports. While certainly not rare for professional athletes,( it seems like a requirement to play in the NBA), and not even rare in the NFL, tattoos are rare among Quarterbacks. So now that the new guy is covered with them, it's become a story. Some writer at the Sporting News wrote a column criticizing the guy so it's blown up into a controversy.
While reading all of the stories I learned some things about Kaepernick. He's an adopted biracial kid with a 4.0 grade point average, a health nut who neither drinks nor smokes, has never had any problems with the law, and apparently is very religious.
The tattoos that everyone sees on his arms on Sunday are of scripture. The large particularly hideous one that covers his back depicts a battle between angels and demons. Colin takes his religious views seriously enough to want them forever immortalized on his body. Ok. So why all the fuss?
Here's the deal. I think tattoos for the most part are disgusting. When I see some kid all inked up from neck to ankle I see a series of uncomfortable job interviews in his future. I think that his youthful exuberance for a popular rapper comes back to haunt him when he's forty trying to explain to his kids what "rap music" was. I think maybe he might regret declaring his eternal devotion to "Nicole" once he meets the woman he actually wants to marry, named "Becky". I could go on like this for hours since the concept of permanently staining the surface of one's skin with a slogan that appeals to the sensibilities of a twenty year old is so self-evidently insane for anyone who plans on living until they are eighty. However....
The existence of tattoos on Mr. Kaepernick tells me nothing about his personal character. The accusations made in some of the stories I read about this topic assume that tattoos equal moral depravity, unfitness to lead, dreadful example for kids etc..etc. Well, tattoos depicting rape, drug use, and devotion to Adolph Hitler would indeed equal those things. Colin Kaepernick's tattoos are a road map to Jesus Christ, and the joy of competition as far as I can tell. While I wish he wasn't covered in this way, absolutely nothing about these tattoos disqualify him from leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl. From what I have read about this young man, he will be a fine representative of his team in the San Fransisco community, a community in dire need of God-fearing role models.
Give the kid a break.