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Athletes Continue to Get Offseason Fat Shamed

This weekend, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo received a harsh reaction from NFL fans after a photo of him at training camp made the rounds on social media.

The collective reaction to Romo inspired a fantastic article on The Ringer, "The Endless Summer of Offseason Fat-Shaming," Writer Clair McNear points out how, like clockwork, an athlete is the subject of ridicule for allegedly gaining weight during the off season. From Kobe Bryant to Michael Pineda, athletes get scrutinized for not keeping their weight in check when they're off duty.

McNear, in the nicest of ways, is telling us to check ourselves when discussing whether athletes must be in top peak performance 24/7. It's not their problem if they look seemingly unfit pre-season, it's your problem:

So come on, guys. If a player comes back from the offseason and starts licking donuts and eating frogs and wrestling coolers out of the hands of shocked and no doubt extremely trim and good-looking fans, then: Yes, maybe we should think about their habits — eating and otherwise.

[...] But perhaps, short of either of those outcomes, we can just be ever so slightly nicer to each other, because we are talking after all about the living human bodies of people with living human feelings and, good grief, if they are happy and healthy as they actively sacrifice their braincases for our Sundays, can we just let them live, please?

As for Romo, he's not losing sleep over the photo that rocked the Twitterverse. He's OK.


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