In a shocking move that will send ripples throughout not only the National Football League but all of the major professional sports, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that starting in the 2018 season players will be banned from having visible tattoos. For years the NFL has been derisively nicknamed the "No Fun League" and this new rule will further cement that reputation.
"Players in the National Football League are part of a privileged fraternity with the right to don an NFL uniform," Goodell said in a statement. "When a player is tattooed it violates that uniform. Everyone knows that no one player is more important than the team, so why should one player be allowed to alter his physical appearance in a way that he stands out from the team?"
Those players currently in the league with visible tattoos will be given the option to cover them up before games, practices and press conferences. Those who choose not to abide by the new regulations will be subject to fines and other disciplinary action including the possibility of suspension.
What is perhaps the most draconian part of the new regulation will come to light during the 2018 NFL Draft when players sporting visible will be ineligible. You heard that correctly, college players will not be allowed to be drafted if they have visible tattoos. Sources inside the NFL say that the league is prepared for a lengthy legal fight from the NFL Players Association.
No other league has ever gone as far as to ban players from having tattoos; the closest a league has come was when Major League Baseball created a rule requiring pitchers to cover tattoos on the forearm of their pitching arm. Nicknamed the "Justin Miller Rule" after a heavily tattooed Toronto Blue Jays reliever the regulation was implemented because it was thought that his tattoos might distract a hitter from seeing the ball as it was released, thus giving the pitcher an unfair advantage.
It remains to be seen how players in the NFL will react. We are particularly interested in hearing reactions from some of the players that have graced the pages of Inked in the past such as Stevie Johnson, LaMarr Woodley, Rey Maualuga and Tyrann Mathieu.
Prepare yourself for a very different looking NFL in the next couple of years.
Please take a second to look at the date on top of this article. Happy April Fools Day! Clearly, this is a work of satire and hopefully we made you chuckle a little.