SAN FRANCISCO – A bronze plaque honoring former United States soccer star Brandi Chastain is to be remade after being ridiculed as “embarrassing” shortly after it was unveiled, US media reported Wednesday.
Chastain, who created an iconic image by ripping off her jersey after scoring the winning penalty in the 1999 Women’s World Cup, had the plaque dedicated to her to mark her induction to the San Francisco Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
But the bronze plaque, bearing little resemblance to Chastain’s likeness, left critics aghast. “Brandi Chastain is one of the most beautiful athletes I’ve ever covered,” San Francisco Chronicle journalist Ann Killion wrote on Twitter.
“How this became her plaque is a freaking embarrassment,” Killion added, saying it made a much-derided bronze bust of Cristiano Ronaldo unveiled last year “look perfect.” The Chastain plaque was savaged by critics on Twitter, who said the smiling image of the footballer bore closer resemblance to former US President Jimmy Carter, baseball legend Babe Ruth and comic Mickey Rooney.
Chastain gave a diplomatic response when interviewed by the local Fox television KTVU network on Tuesday. “No, I didn’t feel it was a perfect representation,” Chastain said. “But I’m not an artist. I don’t know how hard it is to make one of these things.” San Francisco sports Hall of Fame president Kevin O’Brien confirmed a new plaque would be made after speaking with Chastain. “It’s expensive,” he told KTVU. “But it’s the right thing to do.”