Earlier this week, WNBA.com presented the third installment of This is What I Think, giving WNBA players a chance to weigh in on the issue of posing nude for men's magazines like Playboy, and whether players should be discouraged or if it was their decision alone. We also asked you what you thought about the issue, and received a tremendous amount of feedback. Here are some of your responses:
Respect the game, not the body
As a WNBA hopeful, I know that if I were to play professionally and get the offer, I would turn it down, no questions asked. I wouldn't do it for any amount of money. That's me, because I value myself enough to not have total strangers staring at my body. While it is totally up to the person to make their choice, I would have to say that I would want fans for the game I play, not for the body under the jersey.
After being voted the sexiest player in the WNBA, Lisa Harrison turned down an offer from Playboy to pose for their magazine.
Barry Gossage/WNBAE/Getty Images
It's the player's decision
I feel it's the player's decision if they should pose or not. As long as it doesn't affect the league, their family, and the team, (then) why not? If God blessed them with the body and the beauty, I say go for it.
--Carlton (Central Islip, N.Y.)
Should be banned by contract
This may give the WNBA publicity, but for the wrong reasons. As a freshman going to the University of Connecticut for sports marketing, I believe that this will create a sense that women athletes aren't athletes, but that they're material possessions for a guy to have. The WNBA needs to promote better relationships with the families that are coming to games, or will come, and not sex-crazed men that need pictures of nude women. The WNBA is trying to gain respect as a "real sport," but posing nude makes it seem like it's just for men's entertainment. By contract, women should not be allowed to pose nude for Playboy or any other male publication.
--Lauren (Storrs, Conn.)
She would lose my support
I definitely think that it would have a bad influence on the children looking up to the female athlete. I still think it's the female's decision but I wouldn't approve of what she is doing, even if it is to help out the team or the league. I would not support it.
--Courtney (Morrilton, Ark.)
Classic attitudes are shifting
Women athletes have for years been caught between two attitudes. On the one hand, fitness and athleticism was considered counter to the classic idea of female beauty. But on the other, women athletes were discouraged, often by their peers, from promoting their own sex appeal, lest it appear that (their beauty) -- and not athletic entertainment -- was all that their sport had to offer. Hopefully, as women's professional team sports have become more engrained in the sport scene, both of these views have been relaxed. Why not leave it up to the individual, for good or ill? ... If physically fit is considered the ideal of attractiveness for a man, it only seems logical that the same would be true for a woman.
--Van (Orange, Calif.)
What about the men?
When will someone ask the male athletes to pose naked for us?
--Desire (Chester, Pa.)
I don't like it, but it's their business
I think that if someone in the WNBA wants to pose for Playboy, they should be able to, just like anyone else can. I don't really like the idea of anyone posing for things like this, but there is no reason that just because they are representing a league they can't have their own lives. Overall, I think that it is up to the individual to decide what they want to do, and I don't think it is really anyone else's business.
--Julie (Cheshire, Conn.)
You are role models
I think that if you are playing a professional sport and posing nude, it's wrong. Young girls like myself look up to professional athletes and hope to be like them some day. If they see that you are posing for nude magizines, then they get the wrong impression and they think that it is OK, and it's not.
--Christine (Florence, Ky.)
It's what women fought for in the first place
One of the tenets of the women's liberation movement of the 70's was giving women the ability to make choices about thier lives. Simply because a segment of the population believes they are the wrong choices, dosen't make them any less valid than choices about being a working mom or being a housewife.