There are a lot of bad tattoos out in the world. Drunken late-night decisions, the names of ex partners, this tattoo of Lionel Messi that makes him look like a water-loving alien elf — but getting a chest tattoo of Ben Simmons might take the cake. On Monday night a star-struck fan gleefully showed Simmons his ink, and the Nets guard was blown away someone actually did this.
Generally my belief is that people should do anything they want with their own bodies when it comes to tattoos. This, however, has to be an ethical violation. I don’t care how it came about, I don’t care how much the fan might want to get a Ben Simmons tattoo. If you’re an artist and someone steps in the shop saying “I want a big tattoo of Ben Simmons’ face on my chest” then you are morally obligated to step in, question their decision, and show them Simmons’ career shooting percentage outside the paint.
You are required to ask them whether the Simmons-Harden trade was worth it, and needle them with questions before needling their skin. It’s just a basic moral bar you should clear, like not giving a 12-year-old a Roblox tattoo.
In the end Simmons actually had a pretty good game for the Nets in their preseason loss to Philadelphia, finishing with 8 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds — that’s still not nearly enough to justify a Ben Simmons tattoo, and he was right to be surprised by it.