Many people have messed up assumptions about the intellectual depth and versatility of NFL players. The jock stereotype (as well as a few far less savory ones) runs deep. So it’s always fun when an NFL player can discredit that kind of nonsense.
Enter Robert McClain, who talked to the Tampa Bay Times about his love for Michel Basquiat and Leonardo da Vinci, and how they inform his art. Yes: McClain’s an artist.
McClain paints and sketches, and does so well enough for defensive coordinator Mike Smith to buy one of his pieces.
"I own a piece of his artwork," Smith said. "It's a Martin Luther King charcoal drawing, with his speech written on it. Beautiful, beautiful piece. He is a great artist, very smart and one of the more well-rounded guys on our team."
McClain has a lot of cool stuff over at his website, where you can actually buy his work. One player whose work you seemingly can’t buy: Joe Hawley, who the Tampa Bay Times notes is into pottery.
Of course, we’ll all forget about this once the regular season starts. No one will care about McClain’s love of Basquiat if he misses a crucial tackle, or if he runs back an interception for a touchdown. Right now, it’s not even clear whether McClain makes the team—Javien Elliott seems to be gunning for that slot cornerback role. He’ll still have his art if he doesn’t have football, though.