- (Photo: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer)
Agnieszka Radwanska has been dropped by a Catholic youth movement shortly after the Polish tennis star appeared nude in ESPN's 2013 "Body Issue."
The Wimbledon women's semi-finalist was photographed sitting in a plastic deckchair beside a pool containing tennis balls in the latest edition of the magazine, which came out last month.
Although Radwanska was seated with her bare chest covered by her arms, the tennis star was pictured without a stitch of clothing, sparking controversy within the Church.
The Catholic youth group Krucjata Mlodych, which means Youth Crusade, deemed ESPN's photo shoot as "immoral behavior," and dropped Radwanska from its campaign.
Ahead of posing for ESPN, Radwanska had starred in a commercial for the group where she spelled "Jesus" with tennis balls and urged viewers to not be ashamed of their faith.
"It's a shame that someone who has declared their love for Jesus is now promoting the mentality of men looking at women as a thing rather than a child of God worthy of respect and love," said Senior Catholic priest Father Marek Dziewiecki while speaking to members of the Polish media, according to Yahoo Sports.
"If she meets a man who she can truly love and establish a happy family and raise Catholic children, then she would probably have to hide these pictures from relatives," the priest added.
Meanwhile, most residents in Poland adhere to the Christian faith, with over 85 percent belonging to the Catholic Church.
Ahead of the youth group's reaction, Radwanska expressed confidence in appearing among other star athletes in ESPN's "Body Issue."
"I feel fortunate that I can stay pretty lean without having to do too much gym work," said the number four world-ranked tennis player, according to ESPN Magazine.
The special edition of the magazine is promoted by the publication as intended to celebrate "the vast potential of the human form" as well as "the athletes who've pushed their physiques to profound frontiers," according to ESPN's official website.
Other athletes featured in the 2013 "Body Issue" included NFL star Vernon Davis, Olympic volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings, and race car driver Courtney Force, among others.