Playing football in front of almost 2,000 rabid fans isn’t something most women think of doing in their underwear. Lingerie Football certainly conjures up many images and sometimes even a snicker.
The concept originated from the Super Bowl halftime alternative television special called the Lingerie Bowl, a pay-per-view event broadcast annually opposite the Super Bowl halftime show. The television show has become a staple of Super Bowl Sunday festivities for millions worldwide and is broadcast in over 85 countries.
The Lingerie Football League (LFL) is a women’s 7-on-7 tackle American football league, created in 2009, with games played in the fall and winter at NBA, NFL, NHL and MLS arenas and stadiums. The league was founded by Mitch Mortaza. It’s administrative offices are in West Hollywood, California.
The league has been met with significant criticism. Critics say the league degrades female athletes through “pernicious objectification”. Potential players have responded more positively, with one quoted as saying, “I just appreciate playing football, I don’t care what they put me in.” and another favoring the limited clothing, saying, “It’s more comfortable this way.”
LFL players with experience in track and field competitions have noted that the typical LFL uniform is not that much more revealing than typical track uniforms.
The league has been accused of fining players for wearing too many clothes, and for not paying medical bills for injured players. The league prohibits players from commenting on personnel matters, a rule that prompted the vast majority of the Toronto Triumph, including team captain Krista Ford, to quit in protest in October 2011.
Originally a professional league with players receiving a cut of net revenue, Mortaza stopped paying his players beginning in the 2011 season and converted the league into an amateur organization; players also must pay for their own health insurance. League founder Mortaza has admitted that the league is marketed toward “mostly beer-drinking college students aged 21 and up.”
Toronto Triumph Quarterback, Donna Paul, threw for 34 yards and one touchdown during her first game against the Tampa Bay Breeze at Ricoh Coliseum. Rejecting criticism the league is degrading to women, Paul, 31, said it is actually good for players. “I find it empowering,” she said. “It’s like I tell my friends and family: we portray a physique and showcase that and we back it all up with athletic ability. I find that empowering as a female.”
Grab your cleats and step onto the field to toss a few with Toronto Triumph QB Donna Paul LIVE on Wed April 11th @ 7PM EST at BEYONDtheCheers on blogtalkradio. Dial-in TOLL FREE 1-877-357-2448 in Canada and United States to ask a question, talk with us or e-mail in advance.