Are we all missing sports right now? Yes! In honor of the games we play, we decided to take a look at some creative and awesome sports tattoos that honor the love of the game. Now, we know there are a great many diehard fans of certain teams and that those team logos make for excellent tats. However, we’ve done our best to go beyond just a mascot (unless it’s Gritty) or logo to find some original tattoos you probably haven’t seen before.
We dug through a few sports-related hashtags on Instagram to find the latest designs people are getting to honor their favorite teams, athletes, and games. You’ll find basketball, baseball, handball, hockey, tennis, and more represented. Here are 25 sports tattoos that are true champs.
Keep an Eye on the Handball
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 5,000 times: “keep one eye on the ball.” Here we have a handball tattoo that keeps an eye peeled.
Artist MykoWu imagined many NBA teams as aliens in a series of designs that are really weird and fun. Here we have Lebron James wearing his crown. We love the purple and gold ink used here.
This hockey scene tattooed in just black and grey is remarkable. There’s nothing like playing hockey on an actual frozen lake as opposed to an enclosed ice hockey rink.
Okay, we know we promised no team logos, but check out this huge half sleeve tattoo for the San Francisco 49ers. This is what we call commitment.
NSWRFL Rugby Momento
Here’s a vintage, Australian rugby memento imagined as a tattoo. We enjoy tattoos done in this traditional style.
No pain, no gain. Here we have a dumbbell tattoo from a weightlifting enthusiast. You don’t have to go all out to show your appreciation of a sport. This minimal tattoo does it well.
Bike the Mountain
Mountain biking is such an intense sport that many people who don’t live around a summit forget about. In this minimalist tattoo, we find a biker about to head downhill, contained in a neat diamond shape.
This photorealistic tattoo of Lebron James is very impressive. We see the King greeting his fans at the court.
The Philadelphia Eagles have such a cool mascot and it’s been updated in this tattoo holding on to the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The gold and green inks used here are just right.
It’s a Match
This fine line tennis tattoo is certainly neat. No frills here, just clean lines and lettering. You can never go wrong with a tidy tattoo.
Oh Gritty, we have a soft spot for you. The Philadelphia Flyers picked a true icon for a mascot in 2018. We can’t get enough of this weird dude.
This is a very handsome tattoo of a goalie helmet used for hockey. The shading and the reflection of light give this design so much interest.
Chicago Cubs right fielder from 1992-2004, Sammy Sosa is one of nine players in MLB history to hit 600 career home runs. The 7-time All-Star is tattooed incredibly well in this photorealistic portrait.
This somewhat abstract watercolor tattoo imagines the three components of a triathlon. Each event is shaded in different color ink. We enjoy how much energy and movement this tat is able to convey.
This tattoo gives us Little Shop of Horrors vibes but we’re not mad about it. You can make a flower bloom a ball, sure! Why not?
This tattoo is a homerun! Look at the detailed stitching of the baseball. The person who shared this image included in the caption that this was his first tattoo. Well done!
Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes of all time. This sleeve tattoo is like a collage of some of her most triumphant moments on the court. We love the inclusion of her signature in white ink.
Another watercolor design, these badminton-themed tattoos are winners. The way the color follows the movement of each object is very cool and gives the tattoos a ton of movement and visual appeal.
Hole in One
Without the flag, this scenic tattoo would just be a serene mountainscape. That little detail lets you know that there’s a green and whatever course this depicts is one of the most breathtaking out there.
This mindblowing tattoo somehow captures the liquidy reflections you’d find in a wave. A surfer is depicted in silhouette with the warmth of the sun beaming from the background. This is nuts!
Here we have a black and grey baseball glove that makes the red stitching on the ball really pop. The linework employed for the tattoo is almost like something you’d see in a drawing or sketch.
Old School Boxer
The first documented evidence of boxing dates all the way back to Ancient Greece. This incredible, traditional-style tattoo of a boxer is fresh.
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This tattoo of a diver taking a plunge is done in simple black ink with no frills. A high dive requires a ton of patience and acrobatic skill to make it look as effortless as the pros do.
This snowboarder got a pair of goggles tattoed on his forearm so he could do this with his arm. You don’t come across many snowboarding tattoos, but when you do, they always stand out.
All the Sports
How many sports can you put into one tattoo? We spy skating, boxing, skiing, kayaking, and skydiving. This tattoo lets you know you’re dealing with a capital “A” athlete.
No matter how you show your devotion to a sport, be bold and creative! These sports tattoos are great examples and we hope they inspire you to get some sporty ink.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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