Every year, ESPN The Magazine releases the Body Issue featuring professional athletes posing entirely in the nude, meant to highlight the work that goes into sculpting a body that competes at the absolute highest level. In 2015, the issue included NBA star Kevin Love, swimmer Natalie Coughlin, and gymnast Aly Raisman, to name a few. While most of the athletes are usually trim and muscular, there are, of course, many different body types in the world of professional sports, so the issue does make sure to reflect that diversity on an annual basis.
This year, one of the participants on the larger end of the spectrum is 34-year-old Vince Wilfork, an extremely accomplished NFL nose tackle who currently plays for the Houston Texans. Listed at 325 pounds, Wilfork's size and strength are what have allowed him to be such a dominant defensive player for 12 years. As for showing off just about every inch of his frame to ESPN readers, he said through a press release he was happy to do it.
"I know I don't have the six-packs and the eight-packs and all that … but I'm perfectly fine with what I am," Wilfork explained, pointing out that his nude photos could inspire others to feel more confident about their own bodies.
"If people can look at me, look at a guy that's 325-plus doing an issue like this, I'm pretty sure that they might have a little confidence after seeing that it's OK to be who you are."
Joining the big man in the 2016 Body Issue are Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, WNBA All-Star and 2015 MVP Elena Delle Donne, and many more. Credit to all of them for baring everything in front of the camera, but an extra heap of praise to Wilfork for inspiring those without such athletic bodies along the way.