We are all familiar with the stereotype: A young Negro athlete arms covered in tattoos. Labelled a thug. Presented by the media as an affront to the ideals of white society.
The image has been carefully formulated and meticulously groomed as a means to ensure keeping the Negro athlete at the cusp of acceptability. A purposeful and formulaic method of relegating the young, rich Negro to being seen as "street", "ghetto", "gully"....unacceptable to the "media" (read: white society).
Interestingly enough, when the "media" reports on a white athlete getting some ink, it's reported as a wonderful and emotional experience.
Jim Edmonds has a new tattoo on the inside of his left wrist. Joining the "DK 57" he had stenciled there for teammate Darryl Kile, who died in 2002, is a "JH 32" in black ink. The initials stand for Josh Hancock, the Cardinals pitcher who was killed in an automobile accident earlier this season.
So, while the young Negro basketball player is characterised as a thuggish gangster with socially unacceptable and repugnant etchings on his dark skin; in contrast, the white athlete is presented as a sentimental and soulful man forever memorializing the memory of his friends/team mates by delicately engraving a tribute in the light canvas that is his skin.
We leave it for you to decide the motives behind the "media's" attempt to direct social acceptability.