"It’s bigger than me showing my body off," Wade revealed of doing the cover. "That’s not as important to me as telling a story of overcoming a fear. It hopefully gives someone confidence to really be their authentic self."
In a statement, ESPN revealed that the issue was a big leap outside the basketball star's "comfort zone," explaining that Wade was so "insecure about his body as a child that he refused to swim without his shirt on."
Also featured in the issue are: Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, as well as NFL stars Vince Wilfork and Antonio Brown; U.S. women’s national soccer team forward Christen Press, MMA star Conor McGregor, and Team USA duathlete Chris Mosier, who will be the first transgender athlete ever featured in the issue.
"As a trans person, I was in a body that didn’t really fit me for 29 years; now I feel comfortable in my own skin," Mosier revealed of what his shoot means. "That’s something that I’m proud of and wanted to share with other people."
Watch the video below for a look into last year's Body Issue.