Who Is Dustin Martin?
Dustin Martin is a professional Aussie rules football player. He was born on June 26, 1991, in Castlemaine, Victoria, and grew up playing footy there. His father, Shane Martin, is an ex bikie of Maori descent.
Dustin was drafted by the Richmond Tigers in 2010, but he had nominal success in his early years. As if to go perfectly with his bad boy look, Dustin hasn’t always been a clean-cut player and experienced several controversies throughout his career – one of the first being a controversial jailhouse salute he performed after scoring a goal. In 2015, he hit a major rough patch when drunkenly threatened to stab a woman with chopsticks. He was faced with a $AUD$5,000 fine.
Success As A Footy Player
Despite these scandals, Dustin’s stats improved over the years. When it comes to his playing style, he’s known for his signature “don’t argue” move, which has made him virtually untackle-able. It’s a move so well-loved by his fans that you can even find signed memorabilia featuring the words.
In 2017, his excellent performance on the pitch earned him a Brownlow Medal – considered the most prestigious award you can earn as an AFL player. Though he admitted that he went through mental health battles following his best season, he seems to be on the rise once more. According to GQ, “he’s since taken to 2019 in fighting form. Many, in fact, are heralding that 2019 is Martin’s time – he looks to be in career-best shape”.
Only time can tell if Dusty ends up becoming the number one player in the AFL!
In April 2019 though, he came under fire again for making an “offensive gesture” towards GWS’ Shane Mumford at a match. Essentially, Dustin flipped Shane off during an intense moment at a game, then put his finger to his nose as if he was snorting cocaine – a reference to Shane’s drug scandal the year prior. Dustin was fined by the AFL for the gesture.
Though he made an apology on Twitter, it didn’t sit well with everyone. News AU reported that Mark Robinson of AFL 360 called it “wishy-washy” and a “joke”. “If you’re going to apologise, Dusty, apologise after the game”, Robinson said.
Dustin Martin’s Tattoos
According to a 2017 report by West Australia, if you were to combine the cost of all of Dustin’s current ink, it’d sum up to about $AUD15,000! He’s got tattoos covering most of the skin on his arms and legs, with images of roses, skulls, clowns, dice, and wads of cash. He’s also got a few job stoppers on his neck and hands!
His First Tattoo
In an interview by Pedestrian, Dustin revealed that his first tatt was a stomach tattoo he got at the young age of 16.
His Maori Neck Tatts
His second tattoo, and arguably his most iconic one is his neck tattoo. On the right side of his neck, Dustin’s got the words “Ngati Maru”, which is the name of a Maori tribe in New Zealand, in honour of his father’s lineage. On the left side, he has the words “Matai Whetu”, which, according to the Sunday Times, “refers to a meeting place” for the Maori tribe.
Skulls, Skulls, And More Skulls
Dustin seems to have a thing for skull tatts. He’s got two massive skulls on his upper left arm, and one more on the inside of his forearm. He’s also got a smaller one round his left ankle.
Dusty’s also got two hand tattoos featuring skulls, along with stacks of cash behind each one.
His Favourite Tatts
Dustin recently became the face of men’s underwear brand, Bonds. While shooting for his Bonds ad, he revealed a few personal truths, like his pre-game ritual, his recipe to cook honey-mustard chicken, and how his favourite tattoos are his “Live Life” knuckle tatts. In the interview, he said, “It’s all about enjoying yourself and a reminder not to take yourself too seriously”.
“Live Free. Die Free”
If you’ve seen Dusty’s Bonds ad (maybe from Dustin’s own Instagram account) you’d have noticed the large words inked across his lower torso. But what does Dustin Martin’s tattoo say? The huge text actually reads “Live Free. Die Free” – a saying he and his father coined together. His supportive dad also has the phrase tattooed on his body.
Is He Used To The Pain Yet?
Surely someone who’s covered head to toe in tattoos is used to the pain, right? Well, as it turns out, Dusty is not very good at dealing with the pain. In an interview with Pedestrian, Dustin revealed that he can only take as much as two-hour tattoo sessions. “I’m a bit of a chicken. I swear every tattoo that I get lately, the pain just gets worse and worse”, he says.
It’s All In The Family
As previously mentioned, Dustin and his father share the same “Live Free. Die Free” tattoo. But did you know that his dad also has the iconic neck tatts? It only makes sense, as the two phrases are in fact meant to pay homage to the New Zealand tribes from which his ancestors hail.
But it isn’t just Dusty’s dad who’s inked. Get this: Dustin’s Nana got inked herself at the age of 70! After her grandson’s team won the grand finals for the first time in almost 40 years, Nana chose to commemorate the moment with some body art.
Though some folks still consider excessive tattoos as a mark of unruly and unprofessional individuals, people like Dustin Martin prove that you can be inked and still be tremendously good at what you do.