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NFL teams might start checking draft prospects’ tattoos after Aaron Hernandez mess

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(USA Today Sports Images)

The NFL scouting combine is described in derogatory terms by many of the men who have gone through it, mostly because of all the poking and prodding. "Meat market" is the most common term used to explain what it's like.

If NFL teams follow through on a plan to check prospects' tattoos, "meat market" might not be a strong enough term.

Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end who was charged with murder, has many tattoos and prison officials reportedly checked his tattoos for any signs of gang involvement.

Before this idea comes to pass, you'd think someone would object to it.

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Tattoos are obviously very popular (can you imagine 300 prospects at the combine waiting in line to get their tattoos checked?) and certainly not a sign of any wrongdoing or an implication of anyone's character. Making a player wait while a police expert checks tattoos all over his body ranks somewhere between "kind of creepy" and "complete invasion of privacy." Maybe the NFL players' union would have a problem with this. If the ACLU has a problem with businesses asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews, it would stand to reason it wouldn't be so keen on a future NFL employer examining your chest for the meaning of that tribal tattoo.

Given the NFL's long history of ignoring every type of character issue to try and land the next great player in the draft, checking tattoos is probably just wasting everyone's time anyway.

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