NY Post – Growing up in a household surrounded by athletes in Gainesville, Florida, Kayla Simmons knew sports would somehow be a part of her future, but becoming a swimsuit model was something else entirely.
“I didn’t really aspire to be a swimsuit model,” the former Marshall University volleyball player recently told The Post. “I did some modeling when I was younger, and I loved going to the beach and taking pictures.”
“College athletics was a great experience for me, but it also taught me some valuable lessons. I was told by my school administrators that the pictures I post are inappropriate because of my body, I was even asked to delete my Instagram at one point. I was torn bc I felt I couldn’t embrace my body & play the sport I love. I’ve since learned that you can’t let other people affect how you feel about yourself,” she continued.
Simmons said the experience, which took place going into her junior year of college, made her feel “ashamed.”
“It was kind of shocking I guess cause I was following all the rules of a student-athlete at Marshall,” Simmons said. “They really just made me feel ashamed I guess, of my body. I felt like I had to choose if I wanted to be an athlete or feeling confident and being able to feel beautiful.”
The lead up to Memorial Day is always slow in the media world and that effect is doubled in these Coronavirus times. But this year-old interview with former Marshall volleyball player Kayla Simmons from the NY Post has gone viral again and it’s an important one for us to bring to you here on Side Action. Especially after this week in which the NCAA was revealed to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby against their own athletes to make money.
I, for one, want all of our athletes to feel confident and beautiful. Male or female. With the recent NCAA rules changes that will allow athletes to make that influencer and endorsement money, you’d be a fool not to throw up your best looks on social media. Prime of your life, in great shape, and many will have the most exposure to the public eye these student athletes will ever have. That’s the time to strike and I’m personally very proud of Kayla Simmons for carving out her own path.
For any college athletes who read this one, stand up to the NCAA and don’t let them oppress you or silence your voice. Be loud, be proud, and let your perfectly toned bodies shine just like Kayla Simmons. Courage takes many forms and sometimes that means to throw on your finest barely fitting bikini and melt the faces of everyone who views photos of your athletic volleyball body on Instagram. She’s basically the equivalent of the guy who put the flower in the gun at a protest in that iconic photo.
A SALUTE TO COURAGE!