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    San Francisco Fog Rugby Players Get Naked to Welcome 2024

    By John Chen–

    “For the first time ever, Fog Rugby plans to release a sexy 2024 Calendar to help increase our football club’s visibility, promote our amazing sport, raise body positivity awareness, and support our LGBTQ+ community.”

    —Garrett Mack, VP Marketing, The San Francisco Fog Rugby Football Club

    In my eight years writing about LGBTQ+ sports in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve covered the sport of rugby a few times focusing mainly on its immense support of the gay culture, the tightly knit brotherhood (and sisterhood), the physicality of the game, and the sexiness of the players. Rugby footballers around the world are known for their candid and “as a matter of fact” attitude towards the naked human body as nature intended. There are no hang ups, no reservations, and especially no shaming.

    Calendar Front Graphic – SF Fog Rugby 2024 Calendar Teaser
    Photos courtesy of John Chen

    Several weeks ago, I attended the photo shoot of the 2024 San Francisco Fog Rugby Football Club Calendar. The energy was sky high. The focus was about camaraderie and body positivity. At least 20 enthusiastic players participated in the photo shoot because they strongly support and believe in their cause. One by one, Fog rugby players stripped off their clothes and proudly presented their true selves, smiled, posed, laughed, and contributed to a worthwhile task.

    SF Fog Rugby Football Club VP Marketing Garrett Mack

    Jacob Zaionz, a Fog Rugby rookie, was one of the first footballers to take his clothes off for the camera. Zaionz told me for the San Francisco Bay Times, “I wanted to pose nude because for the longest time I struggled with my own body image and my own perception of what my body is and how I look. The rugby guys have been incredibly supportive and playing rugby has increased my confidence about who I am and what I can accomplish. So, I decided to take the jump and get naked with the guys. Nothing brings a group of guys closer than being naked together.”

    SF Fog Rugby Football Club was founded in 2000 and is the first gay and inclusive rugby club on the West Coast. Rob Flores, President of The San Francisco Fog Rugby Football Club, said, “I didn’t start playing rugby until I was 45 years old. I was nervous and didn’t know how my body would respond. I learned that Fog Rugby is especially welcoming to new players and has a dedicated new player development program called Pathway [to rugby]. The first time I hit someone on the pitch, I knew this was the sport for me!”

    Fog Rugby Players in Blue from left to right – Daniel Crowley (31), Mark Gage,
    Alan Merlino-Trinh, and Dylan Palmer

    Flores added, “Yes, rugby is a very physical sport and injuries do happen. But, once you learn the proper techniques through Pathway, your chance of getting hurt is greatly reduced. I would definitely encourage everyone to come out and give rugby a try. Maybe you’ll fall in love with the sport like I have. And just as importantly, you’ll be welcomed with open arms into our rugby brotherhood. And that’s forever.”

    SF Fog Rugby season runs every year from January through May. The Pathway to Rugby program (bootcamp for new players) generally starts at the end of September for five weeks. Anyone interested in Fog Rugby may join at any time of the year. For more information, please visit

    Oh, and I almost forgot (no, not really): The San Francisco Fog Rugby Football Club 2024 Calendar will be available before the end of this year. To get your calendar and all upcoming Fog events like the Jingle Balls Out! Ball on December 9, follow them on Instagram and Tik Tok @fogrugby.

    John Chen, a UCLA alumnus and an avid sports fan, has competed as well as coached tennis, volleyball, softball, and football teams.

    Published on December 7, 2023