Skin in the Game.  Athletes and Body Art
Aimee Heller

What can make a top level athlete’s body even more perfect? The perfect body jewelry or body art, of course.

For athletes proud of their accomplishments, there are many ways to show pride. Flaunt your “go for it” mentality with a sports-themed tongue barbell, bellybutton ring or a double flared plug.   Soccer, football, baseball… Or go for one of the many pieces of jewelry and tattoos worthy of just showing off.

From the Olympic rings to deeply personal inked messages, more and more athlete have some type of body embellishment. And can you blame them? World-class athletes spend years working on their bodies, sculpting and toning until they can jump, arch, spin, toss, dash, and stroke better than anyone else. Who wouldn’t want to call even more attention to a body like theirs?

When it comes to the wide range of tattoos among soccer players, blame it on Beckham? Perhaps. The former English soccer star David Beckham has both of his arms covered in designs.

Players in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup sporting tattoos could form their own tournament of teams. US goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris reportedly got her first inking at 18. She now has countless drawings on her athletic frame, which she refers to as her canvas, including a full sleeve.

Ashlyn’s teammate, striker Sydney Leroux, said in an interview that she has “15 or so tattoos’ that cover her arms, neck, back and feet. Of her ink, she said in Inked magazine, it “represents her life” and is as important to her as soccer.


The biggest American team fan of going under the needle: forward Natasha Kai. She has one of the most extensive collections of tattoo in professional sports.  Both arms are covered, plus she has tattoos down her torso, and markings on both legs. A soccer tattoo on her back was inked on by famed LA Ink star Kat Von D. To complement her ink she also has two lower lip piercings and ear plugs in both ears.


Canadians, Germans and others also flaunted their ink at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup matches. All the more reasons to cheer.  But soccer stars are hardly the only athletes with tattoos. NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, Olympic swim team, gymnastics team, you name it. The variety of professional athletes with tattoos on display is almost as diverse as the tattoos and athletes themselves.