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Athletes, or celebrities?

Photo by Matthias Clamer/ESPN

Women’s soccer is on the rise nationally thanks to the revamped and ready-to-kick-butt professional women’s soccer league, NWSL, and professional players are gaining attention. A lot of attention.

ESPN The Magazine’s Feb. 8 Music Issue featured athletes, not musicians, which got me thinking, are female soccer players becoming celebrities?

ESPN The Magazine brought athletes to the stage by having them recreate famous album covers. Among them was Alex Morgan, US women’s soccer Olympic gold medalist and current Portland Thorns FC forward. Morgan was transformed into Katy Perry.

If any female soccer player is on the fast track to celebrity status, it’s Morgan.

Morgan is already one of the most well-known female soccer players in the US, and with over 1,115,00 Twitter followers, she is the most-followed female soccer player. She has her own website and has been featured shamelessly on the covers of magazines in uniforms to bikinis. At the end of this year, she was listed second in the 100 Hottest Athletes by the Bleacher Report and said to be, “The greatest thing to happen to soccer since Pele.”

In the age where people are their own brands, athletes seem to be blending in with celebrities at an increased speed.

What does this mean for The Thorns and Portland soccer? Well, fans, for starters. Nothing screams success of a new team like a goal-scoring star with a huge fan base. Last time Morgan was in Portland, she scored a hat-trick playing with the US National team against Ireland. So the Thorns can count on Morgan to draw attention, at the very least.

Who knows, maybe at this year’s Academy Awards, it will be Morgan presenting an award.

Live with passion, Elizabeth


2 Responses to “Athletes, or celebrities?”

  1. Kate Stringer

    I love the link between celebrities and athletes. It’s not always obvious how much they’re idolized but you definitely show how prominent that relationship is.

  2. Kyle Cape-Lindelin

    very well thought out Liz, I too am annoyed about the celebrity status that is coming with pro sports these days, especially for female athletes because they are not being held up for their athletic ability as much as their looks. Way to point out the sad truth about sports, yet provided good voice and hope that it can help The Horns and Portland.


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