When athletes bare all, the women get pushback

Two Minnesota athletes posed naked for this month’s ESPN Magazine. Only one seems to be getting much attention for doing so.

“It’s such a crazy double standard that suddenly we aren’t a role model when we want to be proud of our bodies,” Jessie Diggins, of Afton, told the Pioneer Press of her decision to appear without clothing in the magazine. “That was another thing that made me be, like, ‘Yeah. I really want to do this.’ We aren’t going to solve body image issues by not talking about it, so I’m hoping this actually opens up the conversation.”

It’s always dicey to open up a conversation as Diggins found out .

“I feel like this experience has made me even stronger being able to say, ‘I don’t care what those type of people think about me,'” she said of the online comments. “There are always going to be people that find something to hate on. All the people that I’m closest with have supported me throughout this process. That’s the only thing that matters to me. I don’t need to worry what some random 40-year-old man sitting in his basement is posting on my Instagram. It really doesn’t matter.”

You know who’s not in the conversation? And who’s not the subject of stories asking him to defend his decision to appear in the same issue? Karl Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“He’s seven feet of sexy,” the Lexington Herald Leader said.

“Poor decision, Jessie,” a Star Tribune commenter said of Diggins’ decision. “I think you could have made your point about girls and fitness without being part of the ESPN spread. I’d say the same thing to the men.”

But the commenter didn’t, of course.