Polk Sparks Outrage for Fat-Shaming Sports Illustrated’s Cover Model
- Polk said being obese is unhealthy and not beautiful
- Fellow pros criticized Polk for his controversial opinion
- Polk’s remarks will further push women away from poker
Doug Polk has ignited uproar yet again on social media, this time for fat-shaming Sports Illustrated’s cover girl. The Upswing Poker founder recently hit out at the sports magazine for putting “obese people” on its cover, saying it sends out the wrong message about health and well-being.
Yumi Nu was among four cover models announced by Sports Illustrated for its latest swimsuit issue. The Japanese-Dutch singer-songwriter, model, and entrepreneur is the first plus-size model of Asian descent to land on the cover of the popular American sports magazine.
Fellow Pros Call Out Polk
Nu’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s recently released swimsuit edition didn’t go well with Polk who took issue with the model’s voluptuous figure. Polk’s not-so-nice remarks sparked outrage among members of the poker community, including Veronica Brill, one of the most vocal women advocates.
Reacting to Polk’s tweet, Brill brought up Polk’s race, saying his “attitude is typical of rich, white men who appear to know everything“.
Rich white men really are experts at everything https://t.co/HLIyrs7CSf
— Veronica Brill (@Angry_Polak) May 17, 2022
Seemingly undeterred by the initial barrage of criticisms coming his way, Polk continued to speak negatively about Nu’s image saying it is not healthy and not beautiful.
Polk explained that “being obese is a choice and will have a detrimental, long-term effect on a person’s health and quality of life“. He said “obese people are more prone to heart diseases that account for the most number of mortalities in the US each year“.
So now younare changing the script instead of fat shaming a woman you are now on about heart disease! Sorry but anyone can get heart disease. You don't have to be fat to get it. Also being fit and healthy doesn't prevent heart attacks etc.
— Donna Morton (@darkangel709) May 17, 2022
This statement added fuel to the fire, as fellow pros lashed out at him for associating a person’s body shape and figure with being unhealthy. Donna Morton, known as the Godmother of UK Poker, contested Polk’s remarks, saying “anyone can get heart disease, obese or not. Even those who seem fit and healthy are also not immune to catching the deadly illness“, she added.
Poker pro and chess player Jennifer Shahade also couldn’t sit idly by and not express her disgust at Polk’s comments. She described Polk’s fat-shaming remarks as “trash“.
It’s not only women who are calling out the three-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner for his controversial opinion. Poker pro Matt Berkey also chimed in, saying obese men featured on the covers of several other magazines in the past but they didn’t get that much negative reaction from people, or from Polk himself.
Does ESPN suffice? Tbf these editions aren't as sexualized as SI swimsuit, also fat shaming a man generally comes from other men and is super easy to dismiss given we don't get held to similar standards. pic.twitter.com/VfyotPOPHK
— Matt Berkey (@berkey11) May 17, 2022
Polk’s remarks came as the debate continues on why women are discouraged from playing poker, with some female pros sharing that they have experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, and verbal abuse by their male counterparts.