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|| News Item: Posted 1999-07-21

The Naked Truth? Comments from photo editors about the Brandi Chastain photo
By Robert Hanashiro

By Sandy Arneson, deputy director of photography

Photo by
Tom Murray is our night photo editor and he was working the night of the World Cup. When the photos moved of her in her sports bra, he proofed them for the paper since they were nice jubi. He called in a woman that is the education editor but has also been on the staff for quite awhile and knows the protocol. He also solicited the opinion of women on the copy desk.

No one had a problem with the photo since exercise clothes are becoming a trend to wear on the outside as well as underwear. Since none of the women had a problem, we ran the photo - but as a secondary to the shot on goal. The sports editor was around during the discussions, but did not participate. Then the same photo ran as a knockout above our masthead the next day as a promo for a column about women's sports.

By Alan Lessig, staff photographer

Photo by
The Detroit News did run two shots of Brandi, moments after she ripped off her jersey, One of her waving it over her head (2 1/2 col. secondary on Sports front under lead shot of Briana Scurry blocking shot in shootout), and the other when she dropped to her knees (which ran as a small cropped cutout on 1A under a shot of team pile-on. These photos were chosen on a tight deadline.

I was told Saturday night, (by a female photo editor) that they planed on using the shot of Brandi on her knees as a full broadsheet commemorative poster in Monday's paper...However, she was overruled about an hour later by our male sports editor who didn't think that was an appropriate shot to commemorate the most important moment in women's sports history."

Instead, they used a nice shot of team jumping into the arms of goalkeeper Briana Scurry. It was a good photo for a poster but Charlotte Massey, the photo editor, had no problem with Chastain in her sports was the moment.

My opinion is that there was nothing vulgar or inappropriate about it. She was celebrating her victory the same way we have seen male soccer players do it, by stripping the jersey in a macho way...why shouldn't she be able to do the same? Her sports bra covered more than we would see at the beach...or a beach volleyball tournament. Girls just want to have fun, so let them! Don't criticize them!

By Michelle Segall, assistant sports picture editor

The Star-Ledger sent a photographer to cover the finals in LA. Chris Faytok handed in a picture of Chastain without her shirt and a strong picture of Briana Scurry after making the save. We used the Chastain photo on an inside page, giving itprominent play. We received no reader complaints or responses. We used Briana Scurry on the section front. We did discuss the picture briefly before putting it in the paper, but no one was opposed to using it.

By Gary Miller, deputy director of photography

Staffers, David Bauman and Mark Zaleski brought back several different angles of Brandi's celebration. We ran a strong vertical by David Bauman of Brandi swinging her jersey over her head as the lead on Sunday's sports cover. That photograph was rerun this past Wednesday for a story in our business section. Both Director of Photography, Jim Edwards and myself were editing images after the match and it was a non-issue. It was pure emotion that illustrated the road this team had traveled to the World Cup.

The fact is, we have covered snowboarders with less on...not to mention weather photographs on California beaches. I will admit as a father of two teenage daughters, my first reaction was "What's her dad thinking." I'm sure it was great pride.

By Vince Compagnone, sports picture editor

We ran an A1 lead photo of her kneeling in exultation as well as a secondary photo on our Sports section front page. In both instances she was depicted in her sports bra after she had taken her jersey off. As far as Sports was concerned there was never any discussion between myself and the sports editor in charge that day regarding the use of that particular photo (either in Sports or on A-1). We simply felt that it was the best photo to depict the jubilation taking place after the US win. In fact the only comment I personally heard regarding its use occurred when an editor in our national edition said, somewhat disapprovingly "So we're running a photo of a woman in a bra on the front page of the paper!"

From what I've heard, we received a few complaints in Sports over the phone from readers who didn't approve of the photo. I don't know if the A section received any complaints. (It will be interesting to see the letters to the editor in our Sports section on Saturday).

The only observation I have on the "controversy" is that the Times, and many other papers as well, regularly runs advertisements depicting women in much more revealing undergarments, often full page and in living color! Never seem to hear much comment about that.

By Julie Rogers, weekend picture editor

There actually wasn't a lot of discussion. We decided it was the best image from the game and no one really batted an eye. It arrived after the meeting so only News Executive Laura Grenias and myself and sports editor Rick Jaffe discussed.

The discussion was that this was the best image and it also went perfectly with Bill Plaschke's column. Everyone was in agreement. The news exec said later she wished Chastain hadn't taken off her shirt but it happened and it was part of the story.

A woman national edition editor came to the desk to see what we were running and she said in disbelief, ''We're running a picture of a woman in her sports bra?'' But that was as far as it went. I said something like "Yes it's the best picture."

I didn't have any reservations about running the picture. It became an important part of the story, she did it in front of a packed stadium and a live television audience. It was the key moment and celebration photo. To not run it would have been an injustice to the reader.

By Julia Schmalz, sports picture editor

Photo by
We loved the photo and there were no conversations about whether we should or should not run it (although in fairness we came out a day late and everybody else had already run the photo) I don't think we got any negative response because tonight 1A is doing a story on it and whether she did it for Nike. So it seems we can't get enough of it and will probably run it again.

I just polled the editors here (Diane Weiss, Al Anderson and Vernon Bryant) and now I can't get them to stop going on ... "It was on national TV." "It was a moment of celebration." "It was a soccer thing." Yikes!

By Alison Dale, DME of photography

Photo by
The Journal News of White Plains New York ran 4 photos from the final game of the World Cup. Page One ran a small photo from the team together after awards. Sports ran main art of team jubilation after the won. Inside was a shot of her waving her shirt, and a shot of the winning goal from behind the net?

That same week after all the hoopla about her taking off her top we ran two other photos of her with her top off one sports cover (after the rumor about it was all planned and on Lifestyles cover about the new trend she has set. Both stories ran while she and other teammates were in town of a Pro-am golf tournament (JAL Big Apple Classic), so we had comments for her. People made a big deal out of nothing. This is what soccer players do, and this is not the first time she has done this. It is the first time for a lot of people to see because most people do not follow women's sports. Her sports bra covered more of her body than most of the ads we ran daily. Women jog in sports bras everyday. What is the big deal?

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