Skip to main content

My Rebuttal to Jason Reid's Article about John Wall

Washington Wizards should think about John Wall’s ink before signing him to a max deal - The Washington Post

The above link is a post written by Jason Reid of the Washington Post. Before I begin, I want to make it clear that the content, the visibility, and the meaning of John Walls tattoos are not at all debated by Jason Reid, as he clearly stated in response to someone on Twitter. Nevermind that Jason Reid does talk about the location of said tattoos.

Jason Reid argues that John Wall getting tattoos after publicly speaking about not having tattoos in order to protect "his image for marketing reasons." Specifically, Reid had this to say:
Posing shirtless recently for an Instagram photo, Wall revealed several tattoos. Wall’s interest in body art is surprising, considering he previously said he did not have tattoos because of concerns over his image for marketing reasons. Many NBA players do have tattoos, and Wall isn’t breaking new ground in sharing his ink with fans through social media.
Reid is suggesting that because Wall's opinion seems to have changed, that he is an unsure decision maker both on and off of the court. What Reid fails to realize, is that he is reading into something that just is not there. Reid says it himself in his own summary--which I have to assume is credible--of Wall's comments regarding tattoos before. "[H]e did not have tattoos because of concerns over his image for marketing reasons." Nowhere in that summary does it suggest Wall was anti-tattoos or that he did not want them. All that can be taken from that suggestion is that Wall was worried that if he did get tattoos, that he may be perceived differently by the marketing base and therefore may not be able to sign on for endorsements in order to help accrue a strong, financial support outside of his basketball contract.

And Wall had every reason to feel that way about getting tattoos. There is a strong prejudice against tattoos in the United States and around the world, for that matter. I know all too well of this extreme two-sided debate from the comments of a post right here on Don't Laugh, People. There are cases where companies and corporations stress their intentions to remain clear of displaying body modifications in order to attract peoples of all walks of life. We are, after all, still in the midst of body modification--tattoos specifically--being representative of gang affiliation. People wear clothes to conceal their body art in professional settings. Tattoos have been proven to be a distraction if on the face of a person, therefore not promoting a productive working environment or relationship between the business and customers/partners/potential partners.

But Wall's "change of attitude" is not a "flip-flopping" of belief, value, or attitudes. Jason Reid goes on to cite examples of players in the league who are highly marketable and have tattoos displayed. The players Jason Reid refers to are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose.
Tattoos didn’t stop Miami’s LeBron James from becoming the league’s top corporate pitchman. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has intricate body art and makes millions in endorsements. Chicago’s Derrick Rose is “all tatted up,” as the kids say these days, and he rakes in big bucks from his corporate partners. What’s the difference between those guys and Wall? Well, everything. 
James, Durant and Rose, in that order, are considered the best players in the game. In his first three seasons, Wall didn’t appear in an all-star game, didn’t participate in the playoffs or lead the Wizards to so much as a .500 record. James and Rose never tried to sell mass-appeal images to the public. They just let their play do the talking.
Reid argues that these players are among the best in the league, therefore obviously the most marketable. However, underlying in Reid's argument, is the insinuation that these players are allowed to market their tattoos because of how good they have proven to be. Reid may not say it explicitly, and he may even try to refute it, but of the responses I have read to his article so far, that is the unanimous interpretation of that segment.

I should not have to explain why there is a problem with that logic, but for the sake of being fair and constructive, I will explain. LeBron James had tattoos visible before he entered the NBA. Likewise, Derrick Rose had ink on his arms for the world to see before he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls. In fact, both of those guys had question marks about their talents at such a young age but were granted endorsements early on. Yes, we had an idea that LeBron was going to be one of the most talented players in the world when he was drafted, but for certain, nobody could be sure. John Wall had more college experience than LeBron James did when he entered the league, so for all anyone is concerned, Wall was a little more prepared out of the gates than LeBron James was, with a high ceiling and a lot of raw, natural talent. So why is Wall considered so unproven by Jason Reid but LeBron's early years held in such high regard?

Reid is ignoring--especially by citing examples of the best players in the league--that maybe Wall has always wanted to get tattoos, but did not think it was lucrative. Upon seeing the best in the NBA with tattoos and big endorsement deals, Wall found examples at the opposite end of the spectrum of what he thought was acceptable practice in acquiring endorsement deals and presenting himself as a leader to a basketball team. In fact, Wall's realization is actually refreshing, because he discovered a side that he was not sure of and he embraced that side, showing he is capable of change and adaptation, two traits which ultimately breed contenders and champions in any profession, especially sports.

Reid also failed to make a point in the following passage:
Like Durant, Wall has strategically put tattoos on parts of his body that might not be visible when he’s in uniform. But if he wanted to keep the ink to himself, why the photos on Instagram?
Firstly, where does Jason Reid get this information that John Wall wanted to keep the ink to himself? Based on the false idea that he was against tattoos? Furthermore, comparing keeping tattoos private to Durant? Kevin Durant has posted his tattoos numerous times on his Instagram, and embraces his ink with pride.

Jason Reid's skewed and flawed logic falls drastically short of the desired mark, and clearly should have consulted with editors before posting his ridiculous opinion piece that the Washington Post should be ashamed to have published under their name.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Tattoos And The Idiots Who Have Them

More and more in recent weeks, I’ve found myself entirely too devoted to bashing tattoos. I’ve got no problems with people getting tattoos, so long as they actually have some kind of meaning to the person other than “I paid for it” or “it’s on me now so that’s what it means to me” or “it looked awesome”. More and more I see people tattooing the most random things to their body, most people covering their body with the nonsense… and more and more, I’ve found myself entirely too devoted to bashing tattoos. Thank a friend via Twitter recently for showing me a picture of some idiot tattooing stars up and down the side of his face. This began my rant against face tattoos. If you’re in a profession or religion where it’s deemed appropriate, fine… tribal tattoos don’t necessarily cause this reaction for me. I also would never have the balls to call Mike Tyson a fool for tattooing his face. But if you’re just a run-of-the-mill Joe… you shouldn’t be tattooing your face with anything.

Mock Royal Rumble 2017

I do not have any insider knowledge about surprise entrants into the Royal Rumble. As of me writing this, I believe there are only 22 confirmed participants for the Rumble. I also do not have any insider information about the order of the entrants, or the winner. I am just putting together a mock I think makes sense + what I would personally like to see accomplished in the match. 1. Sami Zayn - Zayn will be the Iron Man in this year's Rumble, building onto his Daniel Bryan-esque push of late with Stephanie making his life more difficult than it has to be for no apparent reason. 2. Chris Jericho - Iron Man #2. I expect both of these guys to go the distance in this year's Rumble, and Jericho's as good as any for spurts of offense in a long match. 3. Big E - We have to add some size early to immediately slow down Zayn & Jericho. In recent years, the first 10 spots in the Rumble have entered and been eliminated quickly, and we haven't seen the ring fill up unt

Top 10 Wrestling Matches of 2016

Before we begin, these are strictly my opinion for what entertains me. I would love to hear anyone's opinion on my list, along with what their list is for the 2016 calendar year. I am not focusing strictly on the WWE, and this list will not be strictly singles matches. I also have not watched every match from every company, so if I'm missing something you believe is clear cut, there may be a chance that I did not see the match. Top 10 Wrestling Matches of 2016 2016 was a very incredible year for professional wrestling, in mainstream promotions like WWE and New Japan Pro Wrestling, to independent promotions like EVOLVE and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. British professional wrestling promotions Revolution Pro Wrestling and newly formed What Culture Pro Wrestling have been a refreshing spark in the European scene and have since seen prominence in WWE's Cruiserweight Classic (CWC) and upcoming United Kingdom Championship Tournament. See the list after the break.