Brooks Koepka Wants You To Stop Criticizing Athlete’s Bodies

I lift too many weights, and I’m too big then when I lose weight, I’m too small…listen, I’m going to make me happy.

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Brooks Koepka has joined the likes of many other athletes who have graced the ESPN Body Issue this year. This annual issue of the magazine features athletes of all types posing in the nude while doing athletic positions. The purpose of this decade long tradition with the magazine is to show off the pure unfiltered athleticism that these individuals bodies endure while they’re doing what they love at the level they’re doing it. 

Koepka was initially approached about doing the issue at the end of 2018, after winning two majors and being ranked the number one golfer in the world. He said not only was he “ecstatic” to be given the opportunity, but admitted that it’s something he’s secretly wanted to do ever since ESPN first started their annual Body Issue. 

“It was something I enjoyed,” Koepka said of the shoot. “I was looking forward to it for months. It’s something I definitely don’t regret doing. It’s been enjoyable to see the pictures over the last couple of months and see, I guess, all the hard work I put into it and see the results.”

Koepka, like a majority of the athletes ESPN shoot for this issue, decided to take some extra precautionary measures and began a workout and diet plan in order to better “sculpt and shape” his body. This process involved hiring a personal chef that would prepare all of his meals for him, and a strict daily exercise routine.

“I try to lose about 10-12 pounds every off season,” Koepka told ESPN. “Honestly, I’m no Tom Brady. I’m not perfect. I don’t want to be. You know, I like to have my cheat meals every once in a while. … A lot less knowing I had the shoot coming up.”

Koepka ended up dropping a total of 22 pounds, just in time for his photo shoot and for the Golf Players Championship. However, critics were quick to jump on Koepka about his weight loss when he dropped from the ninth position on tour, down to forty sixth!

Critics claimed that what he gained in physique and shape he lost in athletic ability. Golf Channel’s own Brandel Chamblee, being one of the many voices of sports television, didn’t hesitate to voice his opinion on the matter.

For him to change his body and his body chemistry for vanity reasons for a vanity shoot is the most reckless self-sabotage that I have ever seen of an athlete in his prime.”

Koepka decided instead of firing back, he would undermine how seriously everyone in the professional golf community was taking his sudden change in skill.

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“It’s only four months of my career. I lift all the time; I lift too many weights, and I’m too big to play golf. Then when I lose weight, I’m too small. I don’t know what to say. I’m too big and I’m too small. Listen, I’m going to make me happy. Everyone should do the same and mind their own business” Koepka states in the same ESPN Article.

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Chamblee responded with more criticism, saying he still needed to be convinced Koepka was mentally tough enough to win the Masters — even though he’d already won two U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship. So, Koepka did exactly that. He nearly won the Masters, finishing second to Tiger Woods and he won a brutally difficult PGA Championship at Bethpage.

Overall, Koepka is an athlete at a relatively high point of his career. Like many other celebrities who decide to take the risk of exposing it all for the means of art, he felt the effects. Instead of working so hard to tear others down out of spite and jealousy, fans and higher ups within the athletic community need to understand that these are real individuals, not just talented celebrities on our televisions. Words have impactful meanings, especially when it’s in regard to body image, talent/skill, or in this case, both.

Koepka’s final message to all the internet critics was simple, “It’s one of those things where all these people that talk crap and whatever on social media, they don’t have the balls to do it, and they wouldn’t look that good anyway.”