Today, NBA players have tattoos, piercings, and other style choices. They don’t bother anyone. Historically, this was not the case. The league was much stricter on tattoos and piercings during Dennis Rodman‘s stint in the NBA. Rodman’s example has paved the road for today’s players to have more freedom in their personal choices. The Worm, as he was known, was a walking rebel during his career in the NBA. He attracted a lot of media and public attention (primarily negative) because of his wild parties, tattoos, and fashion choices. Rodman, a five-time NBA Champion at the time, addressed in an ESPN interview the reason for his tattoos.
Rodman set a new standard for what an NBA athlete can wear by wearing a wedding dress to a signing event. The public was also interested in the tattoos on his body, even if they were not as shocking. Rodman’s tattoos are tribal, likely to represent the chaos he loves.
The two bulls he has on his chest display his restrained anger at the world. It may also represent his successful tenure with the Chicago Bulls. The Body Art Guru website lists Rodman’s other tattoos, including a cross and stars, a woman consuming her genitalia (back), a circle with a sun, a devil lady holding a pitchfork, etc.
Dennis Rodman revealed the real reason for his tattoos
During a 2019 ESPN interview, Rodman explained why he has so many tattoos. Stan Verrett, an interviewer with ESPN, asked Worm to address the widespread belief that his tattoos and body piercings were a form of protection against the outside world. Rodman denied this theory and explained why he inked his body.
“They think I’ve been doing this because I’m hiding something…No, I don’t think so. When going through a wrong time, I often want to harm myself physically. I believe that the tattoos represent more than just me. Rodman replied to Verrett.
He also explained that tattoos were not something he wanted at the start. They took away the pain of a difficult childhood and the loss of his loved ones. He then mirrored the same experiences in his life.
Dennis Rodman, incidentally, had a difficult time growing up because his father abandoned him when he was a young child. Chuck Daly was Dennis Rodman’s mentor and was a father figure for him. Daly’s exit from the Pistons made the Rebound King even more unstable. He contemplated suicide multiple times. The tattoos would therefore act as a sort of relief from the intense pain.
Rodman refused to heed David Stern’s warning.
David Stern was the NBA Commissioner in the early 1990s. He was concerned about Rodman’s wild antics, which could bring negative attention to the league. This was especially true at a time Michael Jordan was busy taking the game to new heights. Stern warned Rodman not to tattoo his body to keep playing in the NBA.
During a chat with him, Dennis Rodman admitted to Kevin Hart that he had gotten a tattoo on the same evening. The league soon realized that Rodman’s rebellious personality had its appeal among the masses. It even rivaled the superstardom of Jordan at times. Stern decided to let Rodman be himself and ignore his antics.
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