Brandi Chastain, she of the iconic Women’s World Cup penalty kick and celebration in 1999, was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night. The San Jose native became just the second soccer player to be so enshrined, and everyone was all smiles.
But let’s take a closer look at Chastain’s plaque and dear God what is that?
After that plaque was widely mocked and criticized on social media Monday and Tuesday, an official of the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame said it would be remade.
“It’s expensive,” the hall’s president, Kevin O’Brien, told the Bay Area’s KTVU. “But it’s the right thing to do.”
O’Brien told the station, where he once worked, that he didn’t like the plaque’s representation of Chastain, but didn’t want to identify its creator and hurt his career. He told the station that Chastain would send in a new photo of herself, which would provide the inspiration for a re-done plaque.
“I didn’t feel it was a perfect representation,” Chastain told KTVU. “But I’m not an artist. I don’t know how hard it is to make one of these things.”
And look, as someone with zero artistic talent I realize such likenesses can sometimes be difficult to pull off. Just ask the guy tasked with making a bust of soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo at the airport that was renamed after him in Portugal:
Or the artist who created the horrifying Lucille Ball statue that went up in her home town of Celoron, N.Y.
Nevertheless, the idea is to get the likeness at least in the ballpark, to avoid jokes such as these:
Anthony Savicke, the Hall of Fame’s vice president of finance and administration, told the San Jose Mercury News on Monday night that the images on the plaques are merely “representations,” that he hadn’t heard any complaints. Clearly, that changed by Tuesday.
Chastain herself tried to put a positive spin on the rather abstract rendering of her likeness.
“It’s not the most flattering,” Chastain said while on stage during Monday’s ceremony, per the Mercury News. “But it’s nice.”
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