In recent years, we have seen a huge rise in the number of professional athletes putting dreadlocks in their hair. The style is especially popular with young players in the NFL. Typically, we think of people with dreadlocks as the people who go to music festivals and drum circles. However, with the rising number of athletes adopting the hair style, that ingrained image is starting to change.
Normally, dreads are formed by intentionally weaving strands of hair together to make long coils. Of course, they can also be formed by just not washing one’s hair over a long period of time. Today, this hair style is mostly associated with the Rastafarian religion, but it is also adopted by many other cultures throughout Africa, Western Asia, and South America.
A lot of people are highly against this new look in sports. They believe the style is dirty and “thuggish.” A rule in professional football, known as “The Rickie Rule,” states that if a player’s hair falls below the helmet, that extra hair is part of the jersey and can be used to tackle a person. This rule was adopted after Rickie Williams got his dreadlocks ripped out by an opposing defender.
Regardless of how some people view the style, dreadlocks are very much the “in” style in professional sports. It is one trend that will continue to catch on over time. This growing trend inspired us to write an article on the absolute coolest dreads in professional sports. In the word of the hippies who have worn them since the 1960s, these guys’ dreads will “blow you mind, dude!”
10. Jarvis Jones – NFL
Jarvis Jones was drafted in 2013 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. His tendency to lay bone crushing hits on opposing offensive players during his college career at the University of Georgia earned him the nickname “Dawg Bones” Jones. In his rookie season, he played 14 games and posted 40 tackles, four pass deflections, and one sack. His hard hitting style and head full of dreads goes perfectly with his Steelers uniform.
9. Eddie Lacy – NFL
Since participating in the 2013 NFL Combine, Green Bay Packers’ running back Eddie Lacy has sported two different dreadlock styles. When we first saw him, he had these big thick locks. He has since traded those in for the longer, skinnier type. He was originally projected to be drafted in the first round; however his talents were skipped over by a lot of teams. Lacy ended up falling to the Packers, who were in desperate need of an every down back, in the second round. Lacy ran for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns in his rookie season. Those numbers earned him his first Pro Bowl appearance and the 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year Trophy.
8. Andrew McCutchen – MLB
Pittsburg Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen has dreadlocks with a little bit more flash to them than most. The tips have been bleached to add a nice touch of blonde to them. Since entering Major League Baseball in 2009, McCutchen has made three All-Star games and was a 2012 Gold Glover. He has won the Silver Slugger Award twice and in 2013 he was the National League’s Most Valuable Player.
7. Chris Johnson – NFL
Chris Johnson’s thick dreadlocks go great with his mouth full of gold teeth. The three-time Pro Bowler is widely regarded as one of the fastest players in the NFL. His best season came in 2009 when he rushed for over 2,000 yards, leading the NFL in that particular statistical category. He also set an NFL record that year for the most yards from scrimmage in a single season. Because of his breakout 2009 campaign, Johnson earned the nickname “CJ2K”. Since then he has failed to live up to the high expectations people have set on him. However, he has still performed very well in the past few years considering every defense in the league loads eight players in the box whenever he is in the backfield.
6. Kyle Beckerman – MLS
Kyle Beckerman sports a true set of natty dreads. Beckerman is the midfielder and team captain for the MLS team Real Salt Lake. He has also played on the international level for USA. In 2013 he was a member of the United States team that won the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The CONCACAF Gold Cup is awarded to the best regional team throughout North America, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands.
5. Larry Fitzgerald – NFL
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best the position has ever seen. Since being selected third overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, Fitzgerald has become one of the most dominant players in NFL history. He is an eight-time Pro Bowler and led the Cardinals to an NFC Championship in 2008. He currently holds the record for reaching 11,000 receiving yards quicker than any other player in NFL history. Throughout his entire career, Fitzgerald has always had his trademark long dreadlocks.
4. Richard Sherman – NFL
Richard Sherman has dreadlocks very similar to Larry Fitzgerald’s; however they may be a bit longer, which naturally makes then way better. The Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback was a key component of the defense that led the team to victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. 2013 was Sherman’s first year as a Pro Bowler. He was a very dominant player in the backfield all season long and led the NFL in interceptions.
3. Bear Woods – NFL/CFL
Bear Woods looks like he should be at hippie music festivals. Instead of following around Phish, he is a member of the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes. He was signed in 2010 by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent. The linebacker was cut by Atlanta in September of 2011 and then joined the CFL.
2. Dustin Brown – Tennis
Dustin Brown lights up the tennis courts and his long locks follow him around in a truly amazing fashion. The German tennis player went pro in 2002. He competes in the ATP Challenge Tour for both men’s singles and doubles. As of February 10, 2014, Brown was ranked 97th in the world.
1. Drew Gooden – NBA
The only thing better than a head full of dreadlocks is a beard full of dreadlocks! Drew Gooden is currently a member of the Washington Wizards. Throughout his career, he has played for ten different NBA teams and has played both power forward and center. He was drafted in 2002 and was a member of that year’s NBA All Rookie Team. Who knows what was going through his head when he decided to adopt this look.