It isn’t just actresses and singers in the public eye who deal with painful body shaming — it happens to athletes too.
Lacy says the shaming is constant, and often irrelevant to what he’s doing.
“I could pull up my Twitter right now and there would be a fat comment in there somewhere,” he tells ESPN: The Magazine. “Like I could tweet, ‘Today is a beautiful day!’ and someone would be like, ‘Oh yeah? You fat.’ I sit there and wonder: ‘What do you get out of that?’ ”
People started photoshopping his head onto Santa Claus, and even made a meme with some of his old tweets from college about loving Chinese food.
“It sucks,” Lacy says. “It definitely sent me into a funk. I wish I could understand what they get out of it.”
“You just can’t shake it. And no matter what, you can’t say nothing back to them. You just have to read it, get mad or however it makes you feel, and move on. I could be 225 and they’d still be like, ‘You’re still a fat piece of s—.’ ”
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Lacy says the criticism largely started after his former coach called him out in a press conference.
“Eddie Lacy, he’s got a lot of work to do. His off-season last year was not good enough, and he never recovered from it,” Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said during his end-of-season press conference in 2016. “He cannot play at the weight he was at this year.”
Lacy and McCarthy discussed the matter privately afterwards, and the football player returned the next season 22 lbs. lighter thanks to P90X workouts, but an ankle injury quickly derailed his efforts.
“I literally couldn’t do anything for months,” Lacy says. “I obviously just got bigger. I can’t do nothing about it. All you can do is lay down and eat. What are you supposed to do?”
This past off-season, he signed with the Seahawks, but part of the agreement was that he would lose weight in exchange for money, which led to more ridicule.
“I hate that it has to be public,” Lacy says. “Because it’s like, if you don’t make it, what happens? Clearly you don’t get the money, but whatever. I don’t really care about that. It’s just more the negative things that are going to come.”
But his weight loss efforts are succeeding — Lacy is now down to about 245 lbs., the number specified in his contract. He encouraged his Instagram followers to take part in a Beachbody workout challenge this summer, and while he does still get plenty of negative fat comments, there are people cheering him on.
“Every one of those gave me a little more courage,” Lacy says.