Today in Sports

So Gary Player poses nude in the ESPN Body Issue …


… which is fine. I guess. I hope I look that good when I’m 70 something. I hope I look like that good by the end of summer. Not going to happen, but I can hope.

Then he gives interviews and makes like Jesus:

My big dream now is to help people become healthy. Obesity, as far as I’m concerned, is the greatest problem facing the planet at the moment. What worries me is there is nothing worse than when you see children getting all of these diseases now. People are overeating and eating all kinds of fatty foods and high sugars and junk. We have a massive challenge. It’s actually easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than to get the average man to worry about diet and exercise.

Maybe he thought he was quoting that awful Sting song, but whatever … we have for so long conflated eating a little too much corn with utter depravity that it’s hardly worth noting any more. And if it helps to mangle a biblical verse or two so that more people feel so comfortable with their bodies that they feel like posing nude in magazines, who am I to start kicking against the goods?

Well, hold on. Consider Exhibit B:

Tennis star dropped by Catholic youth group after ESPN Body Issue Pics

[Agnieszka Radwanska], who made the semifinals of Wimbledon this month, was an ambassador for a Catholic youth group’s campaign, “I’m not ashamed of Jesus.”

In 2011, she posed for a picture with the Polish spelling of Jesus written in tennis balls.

Soon she was one of the top ranked women players in the world. She turned blonde. She had fame and fortune galore. And then what? Then she went and tossed those balls like so many pieces of bread upon the waters. Or a horse and a rider. Or … whatever. I trust you take my point.

“It’s a shame that someone who has declared their love for Jesus is now promoting the mentality of men looking at a woman as a thing rather than a child of God worthy of respect and love,” Father Marek Dziewiecki, a senior Catholic priest, told The Telegraph. “If she meets a man who she can truly love and establish a happy family and raise Catholic children, then she would probably have to hide these pictures from relatives.”

Well, the Church should hold us to a different standard. Of course, of course. And of course The Voice Within demands to know, “What if she were your daughter?!” And then The Other Voice says, “But she’s not your daughter!!”

So I’m not sure what to think about this. Has my sense of propriety become so blunted that I no longer recognize licentious debauchery when it’s all huddled up on a chaise-lounge by the pool?


  1. Jonathan Potter says

    I see a continuity from the earlier tennis ball pic to the later one. I see no debauchery there, especially in the context of the theme of ESPN’s body issue. The youth group folks bungled it.

    Great post!

  2. Marriage is the answer to all this fine mess of course. At gunpoint, in Century Link field after it all falls apart.

    Classic Quin that, “but she’s not your daughter.” I’ve always thought you should try your hand at tough guy fiction.

    Great post. Thanks.

  3. As Heinlein once said, she has the look of beautiful pain.

  4. Great post, Quin. A piece of tapestry with nary a flaw.

    As for the Polish tennis star, I too don’t know what to make of it. I think the problem is – perhaps – that tennis porn is an acceptable sub-genre of the industry and that this picture may have bounced a little too close to the chalk line, so to speak…

    Oh, and speaking of tennis porn:


    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      Tennis porn — now there’s a topic for an essay David Foster Wallace should have written.

      No time to analyze the whys and balance the wherefores just now, but my gut instincts are with Potter on this one.

    • I’ve gotten through 5 years of college tennis never once hearing of this, thank the Maker!

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