Tyrann Devine Mathieu, an American Football Safety, is better known as “The Honey Badger” and “The Landlord”. He is the Football Safety for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). Tyrann is known to have a troubled childhood as he was taken care of by his grandparents and later, was adopted since his biological father was imprisoned for murder. He was just five years old when he scored his first touchdown. He was excellent in football, basketball, and baseball. Tyrann has multiple tattoos that adorn his athletic body. Let us explore them.
1. ‘Lightning Bolts’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Tyrann’s left leg is covered with lightning bolts all over.
Meaning: Lightning bolts are used as the symbol of representing the fickle nature of humankind and man. It is also assumed to be the symbol of illumination and the force which is created upon each one of us daily by nature and its forces thus, representing the destruction of mankind by the striking force inflicted by the Gods from the skies.
“He walks on the edge of the water and lets the waves crash against the partial tattoos of lightning bolts and Bible verses on his legs, which he started at LSU but left unfinished, like so much else.”
2. ‘Seventh Ward’ Tattoo
Tattoo: There is a tattoo on the inner side of his right leg that contains writing with a heading that says, ‘Seventh Ward’. Right below it is the line, ‘When When you’re a star, you put God first Let your past guide and your future determine… TM7”.
Meaning: These lines have been penned by Tyrann himself as he says that people often let their childhood environment determine their future which, is not so. We should never let our circumstances affect our future and leave everything on God. Seventh Ward as Tyrann belongs to the 7th ward (biggest of all the wards) of New Orleans, Louisiana.
“I have a little quote that I actually came up with. No, I am not Aristotle. It just says, When you’re a star, you put God first. Let your past guide and your future determine you. A lot of people, where I’m from, they get caught up on their environment, how they was raised, what kind of things they saw growing up. And they kind of let that determine their future and who they become. And I never really wanted to let my circumstances kind of dictate who I was or who I was going to become in the future.”
3. ‘Above the Top’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On the outline of the right hand near the thumb, there is a writing that can be read as, ‘Above the top’.
“I think everyone wants to reach the top and everyone wants to become top but the idea behind is so to work hard”.
4. ‘ANKH’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Tyrann’s right forearm is covered with the tattoo of Ankh.
Meaning: The Ankh is formed in the shape of the cross such that the top of it actually has a teardrop. It is considered to be the original and the first form of the cross. People believe it to be the symbol of wealth and good luck. Ankh basically shows the union between the sun and the earth and also, the male and the female. As per the ancient Egyptian mindset it is also believed to be the symbol of rebirth and life.
5. ‘Chinese Foo Dog’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Tyrann has got the tattoo of a Chinese Foo dog.
Meaning: Chinese foo dog relates to the Chinese as well as Japanese culture. They are the symbol of good luck and protection against evil spirits.
“I’m really into different cultures, I love meeting new people from different spaces so, on this arm, I have the Chinese foo dog. Most Chinese people have these in front of their house and it’s kind of the symbol of protection, keep evil away from you.”
6. ‘For the Family’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his arm, there is another writing that says, ‘For the Family‘.
Meaning: This is Tyrann’s dedication towards the love that he has for his family.
7. ‘FOREVER YOUNG’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On the inner side of his right arm, there is a tattoo of an inscription that says, ‘FOREVER YOUNG’ inked horizontally.
Meaning: Tyrann claimed that this tattoo is the result of the inspiration that he received from Jay-Z (American Rapper’s) song named ‘Young Forever’.
“We reach adulthood and we lose grasp on who we are as a kid and what kinda things make us happy. Just try to keep yourself fresh and happy, don’t be scared to meet new people.”
8. ‘King’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Tyrann’s left arm is inked with the word, ‘King’ followed by a red-colored five-pointed star.
Meaning: Tyrann says that most of his body tattoos describe him and this tattoo, says of what he believes he is i.e. ‘King’. The five-pointed star is the symbol of nature and life and also, is used as a tool of protector. The five-pointers depict the five elements like the air, water, fire, earth, and spirit.
9. ‘Crosses with initials’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Tyrann’s right leg is inked with multiple crosses. With each cross, we can see the initials of the full names of some people.
Meaning: Tyrann said that these crosses are his tribute to all the near and dear ones in his life who have passed away. And, with each cross, there are the initials inked of their names on either side of each cross.
“Probably these crosses on my leg. These are for everybody that has passed away in my family, friends, close people to me. So I have all those initials on the side of my crosses.”
10. ‘Louisiana Map’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On the inner side of his leg he has got the tattoo of the map of Lousiana inked.
Meaning: The tattoo represents his love for his birthplace which is New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. 504 denotes his area code.
“Louisiana is just everything. They mean everything to me. And I think anytime I go back home, it’s just so much love, so much genuine support. I always keep Louisiana close to me.”
11. ‘Malcolm X’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his leg, he has got the portrait of Malcolm X inked.
“He spoke about the things that weren’t necessarily right in the world.”
12. ‘Mohammad Ali’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his leg, we can see the portrait of Mohammad Ali inked.
Meaning: Forming the part of the other portraits on his leg, this portrait is another source of inspiration.
“I think he was one of the best athletes of all the time, he was so loud but at the end of the day what he did was for others and not for himself.”
13. ‘Bruce Lee’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his leg there a portrait of Bruce Lee inked.
Meaning: Mathieu is a great fan of Bruce Lee. He says that his life is based upon lots of encouragement that he has gained from the legend.
“I think Bruce Lee — I feel like he always knew his opponents,”“I think that’s the most critical thing to not only understand myself and my game but to understand who I was going against.”
ROMAN NUMERAL TATTOOS
14. Roman Numerals on Bicep Tattoo
Tattoo: On the top of his right bicep, Tyrann has another roman numerals tattoo that can be read as ‘ X.X.MMXI’. The date represent the day when Tyrann first met his fiance.
“This is October tenth, 2012 and this is the day I met my fiance. We met back at LSU and I was late for a test and my teacher wouldn’t let me in, because I forgot my scantron. She told me, Go to the union hall and get a scantron. I’m running to the union hall and I just, I see this pretty girl and I just completely forgot about my test. And I just stopped in my tracks, got her phone number, and I did go get the scantron though, and I did pass that class, so… “
15. ‘Roman Numerals’ on Arm Tattoo
Tattoo: On the inner side of his right forearm there is a tattoo that contains the roman numbers as, ‘IV.V.MCMLXVII‘.
Meaning: Roman numbers here represent the birthdate of Tyrann’s second father who adopted him as his biological father was jailed for committing murder. The date can be converted to ‘four-five 1967‘. He said that if not for his non-biological parents he would not have been alive now.
“My father is in prison for life and I think had it not been for my adopted parents I would not have been alive.”
16. ‘Owl with Skulls’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On the inner side of his left forearm, Tyrann has a tattoo of an owl with skulls inked along with it.
Meaning: A skull owl tattoo is a symbol of showing love for the near and dear ones who are no more. The owl is the symbol of knowledge and wisdom and also, the guardian of the dead. However, Tyrann got this tattoo to show his darker side which is least known to anyone.
“Our mascot is like skulls. I don’t what creature it is but it reflects my dark side though. I’m from the Seventh Ward in New Orleans. Our mascot is kind of like the skulls. This tattoo has seven skull heads in it. It was kind of like a demonic mask. I don’t know what kind of creature this is, but I thought it just represented my dark side, I guess.”
17. ‘Lord Ganesha’ Tattoo
Tattoo: On his right bicep there is a tattoo of Lord Ganesha.
Meaning: In the Hindu culture, Lord Ganesha is known as the ‘God of New Beginnings’. In an interview, he said,
“This is my spirit elephant it gives me patience and it is my soul company. This is my favorite tattoo.”
18. ‘The world with crown’ Tattoo
“And then I have the world with the crown on it. I think it’s just important for us to be the kings and queens of our world. For me, it’s just always a constant reminder that I am the king of my world. And I really hold my life in my own hands and it’s nobody else’s responsibility really, but mine.”
19. ‘Ankh’ Tattoo behind the ear
Tattoo: Behind his right ear we can see another Ankh tattoo.
Meaning: Ankh is the Egyptian symbol used to depict ‘Life’. It is made in the form of a cross with a change that instead of a bar there is a loop on the top.