Colorado artist Alisha Rice faced backlash when she posted a tattoo of Aaron Rodgers in a crop-top jersey and jockstrap. Haters were quick to crawl out of the woodwork and rip apart the design using gay slurs. The Denver-based artist was shocked by the extent of the negativity that the image received.
The image was plagued with negative, homophobic comments. One of which read, “The gayest tattoo ever. I’m sure A-rod don’t want this shit on anyone.” However some tattoo enthusiasts also took Rice’s side, one Instagram user commented, “Women are tattooed in pin-up fashion all the time and there’s no outrage… Beautiful work!”
In defense of her work, Rice explained that the idea for the design came from the client wanting an American traditional pinup and a Packers tat. She also pointed out that the design tattoo wasn’t necessarily supposed to be Rodgers – it was merely meant to pay homage to a player that the client admired and respected.
Two days after the initial image was posted, Rice took to social media once more and directly challenged the negative feedback. The artist made it clear that the design was not meant to comment on Rodger’s sexuality, but a tongue-in-cheek shout-out to the team. Rice also added, “If anyone has an issue with the tattoo, I’d challenge them to ask themselves why and reflect on the apparent double standard regarding the sexualization of the male and female forms.”
Rice currently tattoos out of Think Tank Tattoo in Denver, Colorado. She specializes in American Traditional, Japanese, Polynesian, nature-inspired, and fantasy work. Rice has been tattooing for 25 years.