- (Photo: Reuters/Mike George)
The NFL may consider hiring a tattoo expert to analyze potential player's tattoos before they are drafted, in light of the Aaron Hernandez scandal.
The New England Patriots were aware that Hernandez had a past riddled with drugs before they drafted him in 2010. What they were unaware of however is that the former tight end may have had gang ties. To prevent similar incidents from happening, the Patriots said last month that the organization would review its drafting process and consider stricter background checks. According to sources, part of that check may now include a tattoo analysis.
A "longtime NFL personnel man" suggested that the sports organization may consider hiring a police experts to analyze tattoos as information about Hernandez's past and the tattoos that covered his body continues to come forward, according to CBS. It has been rumored in the past that Hernandez may have links to the Bristol Bloods street gang in Connecticut. A tattoo on his right hand that reads "Bloods" could help to solidify those rumors.
Accused of murder, Hernandez has denied any gang involvement. But pictures from the former tight end's past have also surfaced. In one photo, Hernandez can be seen wearing an all red cap, a red baggy shirt, baggy pants, and red shoes. With his arms he is making an apparent gang symbol. The picture was taken when Hernandez was only 17 and still a student at Bristol Central High, according to TMZ.
"Spoke w longtime NFL personnel man who said in wake of AaronHernandez teams may use police experts to check prospects tattoos," CBS' Bruce Felderman wrote on Twitter.
But that idea appears over the top to some and may even be considered discrimination.
"Being careful about prospects is important," Will Brinson wrote on a CBS Football blog. "NFL teams invest a lot of time and money in the players they select. But discriminating based on body art?"