ESPN The Magazine Stoops to Soft-Core Porn

NFL JOCK ROB GRONKOWSKY STRIKES A POSE FOR ESPN THE MAGAZINE’S ‘BODY ISSUE.’

Since its debut back in 1998, ESPN the Magazine has tried to find a hook to rival the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Well, the editors at “the Mag,” as they refer to their publication, may very well have found it with their annual “Body Issue,” which just arrived at newsstands.

It boasts multiple covers, the most shocking of which features New England Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski, in all his naked splendor, striking a full-frontal pose, save for a strategically-placed dot covering his package.

And Gronkowski is not the only athlete that put out for ESPN’s Body Issue. Another 26 jocks and jockettes got unclothed for the cameras, much to the titillation, no doubt, of the magazine’s more voyeuristic readers.

Of course, the editors at the Mag deny they are trying to out-sex SI, whose annual swimsuit issue is borderline soft-core pornography. ESPN claims that its Body Issue is “a celebration of the athletic form.”

Indeed, some of the nudes might be considered “artistic” in some quarters. But ESPN’s image of Gronkowski will never be mistaken for Michelangelo’s “David.” Nor will the Mag’s photo of Ronda Rousy, the mixed martial artist, be confused with the “Venus de Milo.”

ESPN’s Body Issue is not about art. It’s not about stopping, as the Mag disingenuously suggests, “to admire the vast potential of the human form.”

It’s about luring readers to the Mag to see athletes “taking it off,” as ESPN teases.         

That’s why the Mag promises us nude pictorials of “the bodies we want.” That’s why it invites its readers to “imagine how it would feel to inhabit those bodies.”

There is little doubt those double entendres are intentional.

What particularly disappoints is that ESPN the Magazine has persuaded professed Christian athletes to appear unclothed in its Body Issue.

Like Carmelita Jeter, who appears in this year’s issue, who praised God effusively after winning the 100-meter dash at the recent U.S. Olympic Trials, but who somehow sees nothing ungodly about posing for nudey photos.

She follows the example set last year by Lolo Jones, the U.S. Olympic hurdler, who says she is honoring God by staying a virgin until marriage, but who stripped down in the Mag for the whole world to see.

Like every other athlete whot has appeared in the Body Issue the past four years, Jeter and Jones rationalize that there is nothing wrong with nudity. That it’s natural. That it’s a beautiful thing.

Well, the young women are right, for the most part, when it comes to private nudity. But they are wrong, for the most part, about public nudity, such as their soft-core pictorials in ESPN’s Body Issue.

Indeed, the nude athletic bodies on public dispaly in the Mag tempt readers to look upon them lustfully. And causing others to stumble into sin is itself a sin.

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Comments

  1. Always it’s good to bear in mind one thing: Who benefits? Answer: ESPN. It’s all about the money. Going to public museums as kids we didnt have to pay. Art in the public realm is generally “Free” (taxpayer funded of course). Only a fool believes what they’re told at face value. All about the money or else they’d give it away for free.

    Actually, the body issue is no different than Playboy. It is intended to be sexual, not neutral and ESPN is selling it to make a buck. Just like porn. But ESPN adds a financial exploitation by (probably) not compensating their athletic subjects very much.

    When asked why they agreed to pose nude, the athletes generally give the exact same rationale as those celebrities who pose nude for Playboy, but at least Playboy has the decency to pay 6-7 figures per celeb while they exploit them. Does anyone truly believe ESPN is paying 1 million dollars per nude photoshoot to each athlete? Answer: No, most likely not even 10% of that sum. That is financial exploitation, and only fools work in the public realm for free or next to nothing for their time, labor, and efforts. Do the ESPN photographers, camera crew, etc work for free? No, of course not. They get paid, only ones exploited are the athletes. Exploited financially and exploited by being turned into meat-pieces to be lusted, ogled at, and objectified by society. If you’re going to turn yourself into a sex object, try at the very least to get an accurate financial compensation. Of course this seldom ever happens in the hardcore world and it most likely doesn’t happen at the ESPN level.

    It would be interesting to ask these athletes how much money they received for their nude photoshoots. It isnt readily available via googling so I’m guessing they received very little or next to nothing moneywise. “Just think how much publicity you’ll receive from it” says their agents. Baloney, they already receive that from social media, from the numerous covers they adorn and interviews they give, etc. “Oh, but you get to see them semi-nude” Again baloney, since a bit of googling and most of their fans can already see them in that fashion without ESPN’s body issue to help.

    Bottom line: It’s all about the money, which is at the heart of the hardcore world and certainly the case behind ESPN’s body issue. They want their share of the money that they think Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue brings in and if they can also exploit the athletes body as well as time by not fairly compensating them in turn, well,…all the more better to have greatly expanded their profits.

    But it’s all about the money for ESPN in this case. Only a fool thinks that money never ever plays a motivating factor into the decision. Once again, the athletes are being exploited.

  2. Get a life, you sad little people.

  3. You do realize that nudity does not equal pornography, right?

    • It depends on the cirumstances. I think most reasonable-minded people, Christian or not, would agree that the nudity appearing in such magazines as Playboy and Playgirl is pornographic.

    • George Jaocb says:

      In 1985, Pope John Paul II said a mass in Papua New Guinea in which all the parishoners were naked. Saint Francis took off all of his clothes to show his oneness with the poor. There is no clear blueprint for the difference between nudity and pornogrphy.

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