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ESPN Tops Sports Illustrated With Nude Issue (video, photos)

ESPN magazine one ups rival Sports Illustrated’s widely popular swimsuit issue by going one step further — publishing it’s second annual nude issue. Phoenix Mercury basketball star Diana Taurasi and New York Knicks captain Amar’e Stoudemire are among the sexy athletes who pose.

The magazine’s second annual Body Issue hits newsstands Oct. 8, and features 45 other star athletes posing in sizzling but tasteful photos showing off their buff, naked physiques. Unlike the SI issue, ESPN steers clear of models in favor of athletes.

Unlike the SI issue, ESPN also features men. Their private parts are covered in all the photos, but you get the idea.

Check Out Their Photos: Click to Enlarge

Taurasi says she enjoyed being part of the special issue, which was about celebrating the human body.

“I am who I am, whether I have clothes on or not,” says Diana. “Doing the shoot was something, and I had fun with it.”

In addition to Taurasi, 28, the 2010 ESPN Body Issue will feature five other cover subjects, including a dozen members of the USA Water Polo Women’s National team.

Stoudemire, U.S. World Cup goalkeeper Tim Howard, PGA Tour golfer Camilo Villegas and Dutch wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer all grace covers.

Other athletes featured in this year’s Body Issue include: tennis star Venus Williams, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis; Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, billiards player Jeanette “The Black Widow” Lee.

You can also see Olympic skier Julia Mancuso, figure skater Evan Lysacek, surfer Kelly Slater, volleyball player Kim Glass, track and field athlete Rachel Yurkovich and ex-NFL running back Herschel Walker.

The first Body Issue last year also featured six cover subjects: tennis star Williams; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson; NASCAR driver Carl Edwards; mixed martial artist Gina Carano and amputee track star Sarah Reinertsen.

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which features more and more topless models every year, is the magazine’s largest selling edition. It has become and institution and pop icon and has launched numerous models to stardom, including Tyra Banks.

  • John Wood

    Paul, as you know, my objectives are aligned with yours, and we would like to see them reached very soon. Realistically, I think we must be satisfied with shorter steps so long as they continue to move society toward the goal of accepting the human body for what it is — all of it and everybody’s. Things like the ESPN issue nibble away at the notion that nudity is dirty, though they clearly recognize that it can be sexy. Indeed, ESPN is competing by carrying titillation as far as they think they can just now. Good. Just as nudity is no longer dirty in most eyes, it will progress from “must be sexy” to “can be sexy”, and it won’t titillate unless the viewer wants it to (as with so many other things!).

  • Agreed, Ms. Miller. Your point goes well with mine.

    There are two serious contradictions in the photos. They glorify and shame the body at the same time; and they celebrate something while doing their best to distract the viewer from that celebration with their childish censorship — which, by the way, only furthers the debilitating body obsessions of real children (adults too).

    Like almost all others dealing with nudity in American mass media, these photos promote a sort of body bigotry and a superficial sexuality that equate horrible immorality with a body part. They act like theatrical performances into which directors deliberately introduce stupid mistakes.

  • Matthew Kerwin

    I tend towards agreeing with Dr. Rappaport as there is nothing inherently indecent about any part of the human body but coyly hiding the female breasts, the penis and the pudendum, and even the buttocks forwards the opposite notion.

    The media is more at ease showing violence and sex than simple, wholesome nudity. Nudity in the media is only shown in salacious or violent situations. Sex is shown all over the FCC controlled airwaves as long as the “private” parts aren’t shown. It makes people think that being seen nude must be one of the worst things possible. Thus you get some actors and actesses swearing to never appear nude but quite at ease acting sexually or violently.

    Oh well, at least the poses in the ESPN photos aren’t sexually suggestive.

  • Linda Miller

    Dr. Rapoport, I do agree 100% with your censorship gripe, but I’m proud of these young people’s expressive personalities, not to mention their extreme talent, and the step they’ve taken toward true personal freedom. If anything, this experience has enhanced their lives rather than proven to be a hindrance.

  • “Tasteful” photos? Their obvious censorship is just more prudish, prissy, priggy Americana. No thanks.

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