Maintaining a fit body can be a struggle. But guess what? Even athletes go through periods of time when they’re out of shape — especially when an injury holds them back from being active. Such is the case with Jay Cutler, quarterback for the Chicago Bears.
The 33-year-old was on vacation with his wife, reality star and author Kristin Cavallari, in Mexico recently. The pair, along with friends, celebrated Cavallari’s 30th birthday, and she shared pictures of the holiday on Instagram. But as we all know, the Internet can be a cruel, cruel place, and Cutler felt that wrath when numerous people left comments criticizing the NFL star’s physique.
In the shots, Cutler looks happy — and some noticed he appears softer than we’re used to seeing him. This makes sense, as he sustained a season-ending shoulder injury and hasn’t played football since November, according to Yahoo Sports. Likely, the injury has prevented him from being very active at all.
In one adorable shot, the couple sits on a boat, soaking in the sun. Cavallari captioned the pic: “I had the best birthday of my life and it was all thanks to this guy. Not only did he plan a huge surprise party, he planned a ‘surprise’ trip to Mexico with some of my closest friends, too. Thanks, babe….you will probably never see this.”
Instead of celebrating the couple, some commenters got downright vicious. Some resorted to calling him a “300-pound lesbian” and Cavallari’s “mother-in-law,” while others commented on his “man boobs.” Berating comments included, “Jay looks a tad out of shape someone needs to hit up a Equinox in a city near you,” “Jay been eatin them pancakes!” and “Can’t play football and can’t keep in shape. Flabby.”
Cavallari’s family is no stranger to body shaming. In July, she came forward to address bullies who body-shamed her children on Instagram — this time for being too skinny. In the photo, one of the couple’s sons is playing shirtless on the beach, with his spine visible. Nosy commenters felt the need to weigh in and accuse Cavallari of malnourishment. “Seeing pictures of your boys and how they look is a bit shocking to see! I know you cook healthy, but to see the bones just doesn’t seem normal, sorry!” said one user, referring to Cavallari’s healthy-eating and fitness-driven lifestyle.
At the time, Cavallari responded to the critics with a healthy dose of sarcasm, writing on the 4th of July, “Yep, I starve my children. Just blocked the most people I’ve ever blocked in my entire life. Happy 4th hahaha”.
One commenter pointed out a specific reason it’s mean to comment on Cutler’s weight: he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008, according to ESPN. The insulin required to treat diabetes can sometimes cause weight gain — adding another hurdle to Cutler’s situation.
Although Cutler had his detractors, many came to the defense of the footballer and his wife. “People are SO mean! Whatever happened to spreading kindness?! Kristin, you two make a gorgeous couple!” wrote one. “Huge fan of jay and what he has accomplished with T1. Enjoy and God Bless both of you,” said another. Some even understood the point of the post, and congratulated Cutler for being so thoughtful. “Happy Birthday Kristin and great job, Jay on a wonderful surprise. I hope you ignore all of the awful comments. Mean people out there,” one person wrote.