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16 ‘Athletes’ Featured on the Cover of Playboy

by: Howard Cosmell On  Monday, November 15, 2010

11. Sable – WWE
Perhaps the most well-known of the WWE girls, Sable seems to set the tone for many of the entrants on this list, so we would be remiss if we didn’t include her. With a pretty spectacular three Playboy covers to her name, it’s safe to say she helped nurture the tight relationship that would exist between Playboy and the WWE. Her first cover in April of 1999 was one of the highest selling issues of all time, ushering in a new era of semi-talented, mostly attractive WWE vixens.

10. Christy Hemme – WWE
Christy Hemme was a WWE wrestler and now works as an interviewer (?) for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (double ?). She fancies herself a tomboy (seriously, has there ever been a girl in Playboy who didn’t consider herself a tomboy?), she loves Harleys, and she’s from the California desert. No real surprises here, folks. She’s in the April 2005 issue for those of you…ahem…”scoring” at home.

9. Gabrielle Reece – Volleyball
Ahhh. An athlete whose athletic credentials stand up to scrutiny. The 6’ 3” bronze volleyball goddess posed in Playboy back in January 2001 at the very end of her marriage to Laird Hamilton, proving that Gabby knows how to twist the knife. However, the two reconciled a year later and are together raising their two children. Sadly, her heyday as a beach volleyball star predated the sport’s inclusion as an Olympic game, but her looks and talent has afforded her many magazine covers and television hosting gigs. The most notable of which was her stint on MTV Sports where one could refer to her as the female Dan Cortese. One shouldn’t, but one could.

8. Ashley Harkleroad – Tennis
Ashley Harkleroad Playboy Cover(4)
Harkleroad may have only gotten as high as #39 on the ATP circuit, but in August of 2008, she was #1 on the Playboy bunny circuit, scoring a cover and four page fully-nude pictorial. She has the distinction of being the only female tennis player ever to pose for the men’s magazine, a trend we all hope she kickstarts giving the depth and breadth of talent in the sport.

7. Ashley Massaro – WWE
Uh…5’ 5”, 112. This WWE star got on board with the wrestling gig after winning their 2005 Raw Diva Search. I guess if you’re gonna look for divas, you go after the raw ones first. Makes sense. She also was on Survivor: China, which demonstrates her amazing ability to…be on TV. Also, Rolling Stone magazine alleged that Massaro had been under the employ of an LA escort agency, which actually sounds pretty much in character, though the charges were never substantiated. I guess we’ll never know if this sexy wrestling diva was secretly a streetwalker. Sigh.

Click Here For 16 ‘Athletes’ on the Cover of Playboy 6-1