Larry Bird mural with tattoos of mating bunnies and spider web brings objection from his lawyer

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Larry Bird. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A street artist who decided to add tattoos to her depiction of Larry Bird has agreed to remove all but one of them after Bird’s lawyer expressed concern about damage to the basketball player’s brand.

The Indianapolis mural by artist Jules Muck showed Bird in an Indiana State uniform. It differed from an old Sports Illustrated photo of Bird in that it showed Bird sporting tattoos that included bunnies mating, a spider web, a “Muck Rock” tag, the word Indiana and a red cardinal, according to an Indianapolis Star article on the controversy. CNN also has coverage.

Muck will keep the “Indiana” tattoo on Bird’s arm. She will move her “Muck Rock” tag somewhere else on the mural.

Bird’s lawyer, Gary Sallee, explained his client’s objection in an interview with the Indianapolis Star.

“”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.”

Muck told the newspaper that she often adds things to her murals that are based on photographs because she “can’t just do an exact replica.” She said she added the tattoos to Bird because “it’s funnier to put tattoos on people who don’t have them.”

She thinks Bird deserves “some sort of prestigious mural” but says that’s not her calling. “I just wanted to have a little fun,” she told the Indianapolis Star.

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