A mural in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis has drawn the ire of one of the state’s favorite sons, even though it was meant to depict him in a positive light. According to the Indianapolis Star, artist Jules Muck made a mural of Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Larry Bird, but gave it a twist: numerous tattoos on Bird’s arms, neck, and face.
It’s a lighthearted bit of art — Muck told the Star that “It’s nothing personal against Larry, I actually think it’s funnier to put tattoos on people who don’t have them.” But the Hick from French Lick wasn’t big on the tattoos, so his lawyer, Gary Sallee, reached out to Muck to come to a resolution.
“Larry’s position is he has elevated himself from where he began to where he is now through a lot of hard work. He has developed a brand that is marketable and he needs to protect that brand,” Sallee said. “The mural, as originally painted, was a departure from that brand.”
While Sallee claims Bird doesn’t have a problem with tattoos, the former Boston Celtics star “doesn’t want to be seen as a tattooed guy,” which is … a new one. The two sides did come to an agreement, though, and while the mural will stay up, all of the tattoos — save for one that says “INDIANA” in a script font on his forearm — will be removed.