Artist to alter Larry Bird mural due to NBA legend’s tattoos complaint
The artist behind a suddenly controversial mural in which Larry Bird is depicted bearing numerous tattoos has agreed to make alterations to the artwork after the NBA legend complained about it.
The mural in question, located on the exterior of a multi-family residence in Indianapolis, Ind., was inspired by Bird’s iconic appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1977 during his star-making days at Indiana State.
Larry Bird spotted this mural of himself in Indianapolis and objected to the tattoos that were displayed on him in it.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 21, 2019
Bird has since asked for the artist to keep the mural up, but removes the tattoos. pic.twitter.com/lrQbsAWdYI
Bird somehow happened upon the mural at some point and clearly was not impressed with how he was presented, namely the outrageous tattoos.
Enter Bird’s attorney, Gary Sallee, who argued the Hall of Famer “needs to protect” his brand, specifically related to how fact Bird “doesn’t want to be seen as a tattooed guy.”
Jules Muck, the artist behind the mural of the tatted-up Bird, said she was simply trying to be funny.
“It’s nothing personal against Larry,” Muck told the Indianapolis Star on Wednesday. “I actually think it’s funnier to put tattoos on people who don’t have them.”
After consulting with Bird’s attorney in an effort to find a resolution, Muck has agreed to a compromise. Once modifications to the mural are complete, the only tattoo left on Bird’s upper torso will be the “Indiana” one on the forearm.
“This is another human being that is obviously not liking it,” Muck said. “If he was happy and thought it was funny, that’s a different story.”
In the end, all’s well that ends well. Still, the entire Bird mural saga — from the artwork itself, Bird having an issue with it and a resolution being reached — made it one of the most off-the-wall sports stories in some time.