The San Antonio Spurs Logo Has Been Co-Opted By A Prison Gang

The San Antonio Spurs logo has been coopted by a local prison gang, so maybe hold off on that Spurs face tattoo for a bit until things settle down, eh?

My San Antonio caught up with some tattoo shops to see how they’ve handled the rise in Spurs tattoos associated with prison gang Tango Orejon, the San Antonio chapter of the Tango Blast prison gang. Many tattoo shops basically have to warn customers that having team pride could get them in trouble if they put a Spurs tattoo in the wrong spot.

“We won’t put it on someone’s neck or face or further down their arm where someone could see it and assume they’re associated with that gang,” said Laura Rosario, manager at the downtown San Antonio tattoo shop called Ring of Fire. “We try to make sure that they know.”

The tattoos are coming from somewhere, obviously, but others suggest fans know what they’re doing when they get Spurs logos in certain areas.

A second tattoo shop employee who wished to not be quoted in this story for fear of gang retaliation, said most San Antonio locals already know about the gang affiliation before coming in for ink. The employee said the shop was “fully aware” there was a gang in the city that has members get a Spurs tattoo.

At Voodoo Tattoos on the East Side, part-owners K.B. Arrellano and Jackie Garcia said customers request Spurs tattoos year-round, but especially during playoff season.

However, the pair said, the logo’s gang ties have changed the way fans show team pride.

“Spurs tattoos have really decreased because of the way they are related to the gangs,” Garcia said. “People tend to stray away.”

The Playboy Bunny, San Antonio’s 210 area code and the Alamo also get some run with Tango Orejon, though the Spurs tattoos certainly stand out.

Some shops have opted to tell customers to go with Spurs logos and word marks that are not the iconic, well, spur. That means using the oft-forgotten “fiesta” colors, which own and should be used more often by the team itself. I bet even Pop would rock a Fiesta Spurs logo, just probably not on his face.

(Via Bexar Country Sheriff)