By Marisa Kakoulas
Reblogged from: http://www.needlesandsins.com
ESPN Magazine has released a preview of their fifth annual The Body Issue, which lands on newsstands this Friday, July 12th. And women and men around the world shall weep and rejoice in viewing tattoos on finely sculpted bodies — bodies that are works of art in themselves even if the tattoos are not.
The tattooed athletes featured in this issue include football stars Colin Kaepernick(shown above) and Vernon Davis; basketball player John Wall; Sydney Leroux of the US national women’s soccer team; and golfer Carly Booth.
In fact, The Body Issue pays particular homage to Colin Kaepernick’s extensive tattoo work in the stunning images as well as in this video shown below. Colin also discusses his tattoos in this ESPN interview, in which he answers the question, “Why are your tattoos so important to you?”:
“It’s what I believe in. They’re part of me. They relate to my faith or things that shaped who I am. My favorite right now is “My gift is my curse,” written on the inside of my arm. That’s applicable right now. There are great things I can do in this position, great opportunities, but there are also things I have to sacrifice. For instance, time with my family. And privacy, being able to go to the grocery store or mall and just hang out — that’s not something I can do. It’s unbelievable how different it is right now compared to last year. A lot of camera phones, a lot of pictures, a lot of signatures.
I didn’t just walk into a tattoo shop and say, Hey, I want that thing on the wall. All my tattoos were planned more than a year before I got them. I think if people knew what tattoos mean to people, they wouldn’t feel the same way about them. Kissing my biceps started from the whole tattoo controversy. I’d kiss “Faith” on my right biceps. That was my way of showing that I love my tattoos, and regardless of what anyone else thinks, they mean something to me. They’re more than just ink on my body.”
The controversy Colin is talking about stems from this ridiculous column, which was a cliched diatribe against tattooed NFL players, particularly Colin. But the 49ers quarterback got the last laugh because, according the Bleacher Report, the controversy was “precisely why it made so much sense for ESPN The Magazine to turn to Kaepernick for the Body Issue–not only because of his magnetism as a player but also for his unabashed advocacy for tattoo art.”
So, while some may not love all of his artwork, Colin is an thlete who appears to truly love tattooing, and it’s great seeing that conveyed on the pages of The Body Issue, beyond the naked pics. [Ok, the quasi-NSFW pics are a great draw.] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Blqx_0d7NKM?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360]