ESPN has stirred up controversy and drawn criticism for publishing a photoshopped image of NFL quarterback Michael Vick that makes Vick, who is African-American, appear white, Yahoo! Sports reports.
The photo was published online and accompanies a column from the Sept. 5 issue of ESPN The Magazine with the headline “What if Michael Vick were white?”
The story reports: “After immediate backlash to the image, which was also posted on ESPN’s website, editors replaced the online picture with a regular photograph of Vick. The website then reversed course and, as of 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, had restored the original, controversial image to the top of the online story.”
The column itself is described as “a thoughtful piece by noted cultural critic Toure on how Vick’s race has shaped both the positive and negative aspects of his life. The author dismisses the hypothetical question posed in the article’s title saying that changing Vick’s race would be to fundamentally change the athlete so much as to render him unknowable.”
Toure reportedly asked editors not to use the title they picked for the story, and said he wasn’t consulted about the choice of an image to accompany the story. Toure said on Twitter: “Judge me on the story, not the art.”
Here’s the controversial image: