The 11th annual Body Issue features 21 athletes from the major professional leagues, including the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line, Myles Garrett, Chris Paul, Christian Yelich, and Liz Cambage, as well as more niche sports such as Crossfit.
Everyone has their reasons for being a part of the annual issue.
The Cleveland Browns are hyped heading into the season, so it makes sense at least one player would be in the Body Issue. Garrett, the standout defensive end, made it to the shoot thanks to his mom.
“My mother’s responsible for me being naked in the desert, yes ma’am,” Garrett told ESPN’s Michelle Beisner-Buck in the interview.
Audrey Garrett said she liked it because it was tasteful and focused on the body, not sex.
Audrey Garrett: Oh. I pushed it. I didn’t wait for an invitation.
Michelle Beisner-Buck: Wait, wait, wait. This is because of you?
AG: This is my idea.
MBB: So we can all thank you for being here today?
AG: In more ways than one.
Myles Garrett also shared on-the-spot poetry.
The Las Vegas Aces center posed in a Los Angeles studio with what looks like a diamond-studded basketball. Cambage, at 6-foot-8 and 218 pounds, is a two-time Olympian for her native Australia.
“I just think it’s really great to see athletes painted in a picture that you don’t usually get to see us in. Usually you see us (as) sweaty messes doing what we love to do every day. So it’s just nice to have an opportunity to get oiled up and look sexy, you know, put our bodies out there. Usually we have uniforms on over them and you don’t really get to see what we’re working with. So I guess now you all know.”
Cambage noted that being taller than everyone else on the court is like having a “cheat code,” but it comes with its drawbacks like other players “getting away with doing a lot to me.” It’s a current boiling issue in the WNBA after Brittney Griner’s suspension.
Philadelphia Eagles offensive line
Offensive lines do not get enough credit and attention. ESPN shot the 2018 Super Bowl champions in Philadelphia in June. As shown in the interview video, the crew broke the news to the five that quarterback Carson Wentz signed an extension.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 4, 2019
Tackle Lane Johnson encouraged the “special group of guys” to do it so they could capture the moment. He even mentioned giving each of the men a watch for it.
“My whole deal was I was kind of nervous how some guys were going to take it. Told them about it. They were kind of reluctant at first. some guys were in; some guys were out.”
Guard Isaac Seumalo and center Jason Kelce described a team mentality in agreeing to the shoot, which was based around a very unique tailgate party.
Seumalo: “I was super reluctant coming into it. But one of the best things about our group is we have such good camaraderie and chemistry.”
Kelce: “That’s part of being a team and a unit. Some guy wants to do something and it may take you out of your comfort zone or something you might not have been interested in.”
The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder had fun on the slip and slide for his photo shoot in Milwaukee and decided to do it to go against what others might think.
“It’s something that i feel like people wouldn’t probably perceive me as doing. I’m usually more reserved or try to keep my life as private as possible most of the time. It was a little outside the box. I was something that I wouldn’t be necessarily inclined to do right off the bat. But I had friends who did it and really loved it so I figured I was at a point in my life where why not, have fun with it.”
Crossfit champ, viral gymnast and inspiration
Two-time Crossfit champion Katrin Davidsdottir was photographed by a stunning cliff in Ireland. The 26-year-old said it was a “bucket list type thing” and one of the “most amazing and coolest things I’ll ever do.”
Katelyn Ohashi, the viral gymnast out of UCLA who has spoken about body shaming, posed in a Los Angeles studio doing flips. The Body Issue also includes paralympic medalist Scout Bassett, basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, who said she did it to be an inspiration, and golfer Brooks Koepka, who shot down haters last week.
More from Yahoo Sports: