|David Beckham waves to fans
during the half-time break in a celebration soccer match between
Manchester United and an Europe XI to mark the 50th anniversary of Manchester United appearing in European competition at Old
Trafford in Manchester, northern England, in this March 13, 2007 file photo.
U.S. soccer might be hoping for a surge in popularity
with the arrival of English star David Beckham, but some fashion critics are
also hoping he can teach U.S. sports stars a thing or two about clothes.
"Hopefully it will inspire them to lift their game," said Adam Rapoport,
style editor at men's fashion magazine GQ. "I think athletes respond to
competition well. If someone's looking better than them they want
to get on par with them."
Beckham, 31, has signed a $250 million five-year deal to moved to the United
States later this year and play for the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team, but even
before he has arrived he has graced the covers of
U.S. fashion magazines.
So is the U.S. sports scene in need of a style icon?
"Desperately. And they're in need of a tailor," said Wendell Brown, senior
fashion editor at Esquire magazine. "I hope Beckham has a major impact."
Rapoport agreed, saying there had been a fashion void on the U.S. sports
scene since the 2003 retirement of basketball star Michael Jordan, who is now
one of the world's wealthiest former athletes with endorsement contracts and
"I don't think anyone's stepped up to the plate since Jordan retired and I
think they could use one. It's going to be interesting to see if Beckham can be
that guy," he said.
But Beckham's iconic style status doesn't appear to have U.S. sports stars
shaking in their boots.
"It's not going to put pressure on me. I'm not competing with him,"
Philadelphia Eagles football player Jevon Kearse said with a laugh, while
attending the launch of Jared M, a clothing line designed especially for big,
tall sports stars.
But he did add that Beckham's popularity could pressure other athletes to
lift their fashion game.
Former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Jim Jackson said that while he
believed Beckham would likely have an impact on U.S. sports stars fashion, most
National Basketball Association (NBA) players were already "dressing the part."
"They made it mandatory for NBA players to dress up," Jackson said. "I think
guys really accepted that and really took it as a challenge to step up their
get on par with: 处于同等水平（英语点津陈蓓编辑）
grace the covers of U.S.