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Sports Business

SI responds to Danica tattoo flap

February 26, 2009
After this post, there will be a self-imposed moratorium on Danica Patrick-related news on The Score. Even I can see we’ve gotten a little carried away. But Sports Illustrated’s response to the Danica tattoo flap that surfaced two weeks ago is just too good to pass up. And this isn’t a swipe at Patrick. It’s just that I find SI’s response intriguing on so many levels.

In case you’ve forgotten, the flap revolves around a tattoo on the small of Patrick’s back. Last year, SI left it in the photos that were in the Swimsuit Issue, this year, the tattoo was digitally removed.

“The Swimsuit Issue emphasizes natural beauty,” an SI spokesman told CNBC. “The freckles are left on and, in this case, the tattoos came off.”

I don’t think anyone confuses the Swimsuit Issue for anything resembling journalism, so I really don’t care that much that a tattoo of a half American flag, half checkered flag on Patrick’s lower back was airbrushed. Apparently, I’m not alone. Fifty two percent of just more than 3,300 voting in a CNBC.com poll said they didn’t have a problem with SI removing the tattoo. Patrick herself is on record saying she didn’t mind that it was removed.

It is interesting that SI editors find it more natural to publish phonied-up photos than to show things as they really are. But I must confess, what I know about fashion, and fashion shoots, could fit in a very small thimble.

What I do know is that the issue of Danica's tattoos has been covered by countless media outlets worldwide, and that shows what a global icon Patrick has become. True, this in particular coverage has little to do with her ability as an open-wheel driver, but it is good for the Indy Racing League nonetheless.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
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