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Sports Illustrated Responds To Taking Off Danica's Tattoo

We recently noted that Sports Illustrated "airbrushed" Danica Patrick's tattoo, removing it from the small of her back for pictures in their recent Swimsuit Issue.

Patrick's team at the time told us that "Danica is aware of the edits and is comfortable with the final photos."

But we couldn't reach SI for comment as to why they did this.

This afternoon, a spokesperson for the magazine responded.

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

More than 3,300 people voted in a CNBC.com poll asking if they had a problem with the magazine's editing of the race car driver's tattoo. It was close, with 52 percent saying they didn't mind with 48 percent saying they did.

We reported that the tattoo is of an American flag, but Patrick recently told Fanhouse that it's half American flag and half checkered flag. She also said she recently added more including "some angel wings and some stars and stuff."

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