Professional sports nowadays: Whatever happened to dress codes ?

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm

With just one game remaining in the college football season and the NFL playoffs underway, I begin to anticipate the dreary month of February. February is always the worst month for me because there is no football (even though I do not consider myself a Pro Football fan anymore – See Sports Purist archives- I do watch the playoffs and the Super Bowl) and baseball has yet to start. In February there is only basketball. And in basketball these days it seems that there are only tattoos.

I can no longer watch the NBA because the tattoos, diamond-stud earings and bling have quite simply become an eyesore. I think this all started with Dennis Rodman about twenty years ago, but there are very few players on the hardwood nowadays who do not sport elaborate and often cryptic tattoos. If you just looked at the bodies -and the attitudes- on the court you could easily imagine that you were walking the streets of gang-infested urban America, not watching a professional basketball game. It’s funny but I was talking to my sister, a rabid sports fan, recently and she said that she no longer watches basketball for precisely the same reason. I have a feeling we are not alone. Are you listening, David Stern ?

What happened to the hair and dress codes that were once so ubiquitous in American professional sports? I think the New York Yankees are the only professional sports team nowadays that requires its players to look like gentlemen (do people even use this word anymore ? ). When you are paying someone millions of dollars a year to project your brand into the community I would think you would have all the right to expect them to act – and dress – with decorum, as the Yankees do. And I often wonder why the NBA, in particular, has not seen proper to limit self-expression in the form of tattoos, especially given the association in American culture of tattoos with gangs. I am sure money is involved somewhere.

I have never understood the appeal of tattoos anyway.


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