Well, it's a real privilege to be able to not sit down with Alex Morgan and not interview her. Thank you, Dan. And it's an honor for me to be able to remind everyone that no, this is not Alex Morgan. This is a parody interview not to be taken seriously.
Thanks, Alex. I'll call you Alex, but really, you're not Alex at all.
Absolutely not. It's just you talking to yourself, like a crazy person.
Thanks. Hopefully we've made that clear. So, you've certainly gotten a lot of positive publicity over your Sports Illustrated photo shoot!
I certainly have, Dan. The reactions have been very positive, life-affirming, and not creepy in the slightest.
You lucky thing. You told Sports Illustrated that this was a big opportunity for you.
Not just for me, but for women's soccer, and for women athletes. Women everywhere, really. Finally, an attractive woman is able to pose nude for money. I think that's a very positive message, a very progressive message, and one that I'm just really proud to be a part of. I'm really grateful to Sports Illustrated for helping me tell other women that if you're good-looking enough, someone will ask you to take off your clothes. I don't think enough women realize that.
Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose that particular outfit?
Well, it's the annual swimsuit issue, so it would only make sense that I'd choose not to wear a swimsuit. What you have to remember is, our primary goal is to promote the US national team and promote women's soccer. So I wanted something that said, "I am an athlete, I am a competitor, I am a champion." And I can't think of a better way to accomplish that than to have paint smeared on my naked body. I remember thinking, "I'm nude, I'm under hot lights, and I'm having my pubis painted blue. I'm making a difference."
You're not the first US women's soccer player to pose nude, of course.
Well, yes, and I didn't want to do something cheap and tawdry. What people took away from Brandi Chastain and Hope Solo was not eroticism so much as an appreciation for the full capabilities of the human body. Those pictured showed Brandi and Hope as strong, confident and powerful. I wanted to do the same thing. But I also wanted to show my nipples.
Nipples are important for empowerment.
So you believe this has helped win fans over to women's soccer?
It wasn't that long ago that Sepp Blatter was telling us that we should wear tighter shorts if we wanted fans - and as a player, I was deeply offended by that, and I wanted to show that tight shorts aren't necessary. I think I've accomplished that.
A lot of people buy the swimsuit issue who weren't necessarily interested in the sport. I think that's really what we've been missing - fans who aren't interested. I believe what women's soccer needs more than anything are fans who don't like soccer, or don't like women's sports, or preferably both. I think we can easily get fans to pay for games that way. I would love to play for hundreds or thousands of fans who just want me to take my shirt off. All fans are welcome, whether they wear ponytails or trenchcoats.
Do you think this will change how women's soccer is seen?
Now we have so many new fans and supporters - getting the message of women's soccer in quality publications like Sports Illustrated and Bleacher Report is the surest way to get lifelong, devoted fans. I'm happy to have been able to reach the kind of fan who only cares about women's soccer when a player poses nude. I think we deserve fans like that.