Agnieszka Radwanska was one of 21 athletes to appear nude in ESPN’s annual Body Issue. The tennis player’s shots were all of the safe-for-work variety, but they did not sit well with some back in her native Poland.
A Catholic group known as Youth Crusade has reportedly distanced itself from Radwanska because of her so-called “immoral behavior.”
The 24-year-old, who is currently ranked fourth in the WTA, had been an ambassador for the youth group’s campaign entitled, “I’m not ashamed of Jesus.”
The photos — one of which was reprinted on the cover of Wprost, a popular Polish magazine — also drew criticism from a number of Catholic leaders.
“It’s a shame that someone who has declared their love for Jesus is now promoting the mentality of men looking at a woman as a thing rather than a child of God worthy of respect and love,” Father Marek Dziewiecki, a senior Catholic priest, told The Telegraph. “If she meets a man who she can truly love and establish a happy family and raise Catholic children, then she would probably have to hide these pictures from relatives.”
Tomasz Terlikowski, whom the Wall Street Journal describes as a “prominent Catholic commentator,” reportedly wrote on his website that he “hadn’t seen the photos but [believes] a woman’s nudity should be reserved for her husband.”
Radwanska, who lost in the semifinals at Wimbledon earlier this month, has yet to comment on the backlash.
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