Colin Kaepernick has tattoos, prompting David Whitley to write lazy, racist column

Colin Kaepernick's tattoos inspire the laziest, most racist article in recent memory

11/30/12 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

November 25, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) against the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The 49ers defeated the Saints 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIREDavid Whitley begins his ill-fated attempted takedown of 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick by comparing the QB to inmates at San Quentin. At least Whitley doesn't even try to pretend he's writing something that should be taken seriously.

As Whitley begrudgingly admits later in the column, Kaepernick is a classy human being, well-spoken, and says and does all the right things on and off the field.

At this point, Whitley should realize that his column chastising Kaepernick for his tattoos is a terrible idea. After all, his tattoos really have no bearing whatsoever his ability to lead an offense.

Whitley writes about the idea of a tattooed QB hoisting a Lombardi Trophy as if it's the single worst thing that could happen in pro sports.

Sorry, Mr. Whitley, but there are a lot of other issues out there that require fixing. Even if you equate tattoos with death row inmates, that doesn't mean they're all criminals.

Whitley's column reeks of the "you people" mentality that you see from closet racists, who find any reason imaginable to criticize people of color, while turning a blind eye to a white person who does the same thing.

Notice that Whitley excuses Ben Roethlisberger's tattoos, and lists off a slew of white quarterbacks and hails them as the model for all to follow. He then criticizes Michael Vick and Terrelle Pryor, ignoring the fact that Pryor isn't actually a legitimate NFL QB by any imaginable standard.

From Whitley's column:
"His ink-covered arms will one day raise the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Imagine the impact that could have. For one thing, Jerry Richardson would clutch his chest in horror."

Really? Is that so bad? Is it such a terrible thing that we're upsetting an old white member of the establishment?

Another priceless line:
"I can’t shake the notion that a person’s body is a temple, and you don’t cover temples in graffiti."

Ask anyone with a tattoo, and they'll tell you that their ink is anything but graffiti. It's art. And I'm sure you can find a lot of fine art hanging in temples.

Don't get me wrong, we've done our fair share of tattoo critiquing on this site(here and here, for example). But at the end of the day, tattoos are a personal decision. As long as they're not of an offensive nature, they have no real affect on  on how someone should be viewed. Someday, dinosaurs like David Whitley will realize this.

As expected, Whitley's column has been met with harsh criticism from... well, pretty much everyone.

As it should be. It's nothing more than a mindless attack on someone who has done absolutely nothing to deserve it, and it is motivated by nothing more than pure ignorance.
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12/1/12   |   brpunker0421

Isn't it a violation to respond to the "laziest" article with a blog that's just as lazy and poorly scribed? It's not the MSM that's killed journalism, it's blogs!

11/30/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

For the record, I'm for just about anything that pisses Jerry Richardson off.

11/30/12   |   Jess   |   34638 respect

richard_cranium wrote:
Let's talk about this other dredge of American Society with a tattoo, Theodore Roosevelt(family crest on chest), 

Oh but that would be covered on the field, so according to Whitley, that's fine. 

Whether the guy is racist or not, he's definitely ridiculously judgmental. With everything going on in college and professional football (actual crimes), tattoos are benign, and no - they're not like a "gateway drug", nor are they reflective of a criminal personality. I liked what one comment pointed out regarding Ben Roethlisberger - so the guy can be accused of multiple rapes, but as long as his tattoo is covered by his uniform, that's ok? 

11/30/12   |   richard_cranium   |   17673 respect

Let's talk about this other dredge of American Society with a tattoo, Theodore Roosevelt(family crest on chest), 

11/30/12   |   Jess   |   34638 respect

This is hilarious - when I saw you tweet something about it I was hoping you'd elaborate in an article.

BTW - I happen to like Kaepernick's tattoos. As a matter of fact, the first time I ever saw him I thought "wow, for a 49er he's got some kickass ink."


OK I'm prejudice against 49ers, I admit it.

11/30/12   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

jospwr wrote:
David Whitley has two adopted daughters, both of whom are black.

Maybe he's just talking about tattoos and you are just a tool.

Ah, the classic "I can't be racist, I have black children" argument.

On a more serious note, if it really has nothing to do with race, why did he go out of his way to make justifications for Alex Smith and Ben Roethlisberger's tattoos, and vilify black QBs like Vick and Pryor? In fact, other than snide racist undertones, why would anyone EVER mention Terrelle Pryor in a serious conversation about NFL quarterbacks? Does anyone actually think Pryor will ever actually start a game?

Either way, the fact that he cares about what another person does to their body (completely within the confines of the law and all NFL rules, no less) is completely ridiculous. Even if it isn't racist (and it smacks of racism), it's still incredibly ignorant and narrow-minded.

11/30/12   |   jospwr

David Whitley has two adopted daughters, both of whom are black.

Maybe he's just talking about tattoos and you are just a tool.

11/30/12   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   25157 respect

Looking at his twitter and he lists his location as Tupelo, Mississippi... Ok, makes sense now