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The shots of Beckham wearing only his H&M Bodywear line have graced billboards, Superbowl commercial breaks and even been painted on 16-story buildings. These shots received three complaints to the ASA, however, alleging that his “goldenballs” were offensive or irresponsible for display to children. “Goldenballs,” by the way, is a nickname given to Beckham by his wife Victoria in a 2001 interview, and is often how he is referred to in the British press.
The ASA, an independent media regulator, investigated and ultimately disagreed with the complaints, arguing in a statement that it “acknowledged that the ad might be viewed by some as mildly sexual in nature, because David Beckham was featured in only a pair of tight trunk briefs. However, because the ad was for an underwear range, was not overtly sexual and did not feature explicit nudity,” there was no reason to believe it was “unsuitable for children to see.”
Out of all the people across the world who saw Beckham’s tackle — and it must have been in the millions, from the Superbowl alone — only three found it offensive enough to file formal complaints. However, Beckham seeing himself makes him a little uncomfortable, as he told a radio station in February. “When we were watching the Super Bowl yesterday in a room of about 20 people and it came on and I actually didn’t know where to look,” he admitted. “I’m very shy. It was kind of embarrassing.”
The LA Galaxy star will just have to keep looking away, now that the ASA has ruled we can all keep on staring.