by NATALIA HAWK
The Lingerie Football League is losing the lingerie. That’s right – the sport made famous by its inclusion of garters, frilly undies and bras on the footy field is re-branding.
The female players have to play NAKED now.
Nah, we’re just messing with you.
The players are actually getting brand new REAL and SENSIBLE sporting attire in the form of, you know, clothes.
According to the company’s press release, more functional “performance wear” will now replace all lingerie aspects of the original uniforms, presumably in an attempt to shift the focus away from boobies and more towards the sport they are actually playing.
But that’s not all – the name is now changing too. It’s going to be called “Legends Football League”, and the tagline will be “Women of the Gridiron” instead of “True Fantasy Football”. Sexy female figures will also be removed from all logos.
“While the Lingerie Football League name has drawn great media attention allowing us to showcase the sport to millions, we have now reached a crossroad of gaining credibilty as a sport or continuing to be viewed as a gimmick,” Mitchell Mortaza, the founder and Chairman, said in a statement.
“In the coming years we will further establish this sport in the U.S., Australia, Europe and Asia as the most known form of American football globally. In order to reach the next milestone, we feel the focus has to be the sport and our amazing athletes.”
Well. I’m pretty stoked about all of the above. I’m a big supporter of equal opportunities for women in sport.
This is because I have been lucky enough to experience the benefits behind said equal opportunities.
I’ve tried dozens of sports, some more than once because I have the tendency to forget that I am crap at things. I took up tennis in 1998, and then again in 2002 (and then one last time in 2011… don’t judge me) and at no point did someone say “sorry sweetheart, we cannot rent you this lovely court because you have a vagina.” They said, “come on in but please don’t accidentally concuss your instructor like last time, that was a lot of paperwork.”
I’ve also been able to attend a number of university championships for touch football. Note that my uni always takes equal amounts of boys and girls along to these championships, so it’s fair to each sex.
At the championships, the women support the men, just as the men support the women. Once, someone from the men’s team told me that I was a shitty player and the other men made him a) apologise instantly and b) drink microwaved beer out of a used footy boot.
There’s a lesson there, kids.
Additionally, the women’s games are just as – if not more – competitive as the men’s games. The girls might run marginally slower than the boys, but that’s really not a huge deal when you’re watching a team make eighteen consecutive tries just because of their talent and strategy.
It’s the same with any sporting event, really. The Australian Open. The Olympics. Can you imagine someone watching the Olympic men’s 100m freestyle final and then going “oh, boooooring” and switching off the television when the women’s final comes on? No. It doesn’t happen. And if you ever do see that happen, I recommend you make that person drink a microwaved footy-beer.
Unfortunately, American football is different. Somewhere along the way, someone decided that women playing football isn’t worth watching unless those women are dressed like Playboy bunnies. Hence the invention of the Lingerie Football League.
You see, the Lingerie Football players are professionals.
Watching any Youtube clip of a game will make you realise that very quickly. They play in the league because it’s the only professional league available to them. There’s no funding, no exposure and no future in the other American female football leagues.
Imagine if we did a similar thing to our Australian female athletes. Imagine if the Matildas weren’t allowed to play in the World Cup unless they donned garters and g-strings. Imagine if the Opals had to give up basketball in high school unless they were willing to put on a push-up bra.
I’m so glad that the Lingerie Football girls now get to ditch the lingerie in favour of bigger shoulder pads and nice, supportive sports bras. I’m so glad that they’ll finally gain some credibility in a world that’s still skewed towards the male-domination side of things. I’m so glad that they will be treated like the talented, professional players that they are, instead of Victoria’s Secret models that accidentally wound up on a football field and had to entertain themselves on it somehow.
And I’m so, SO glad that the trend won’t be catching on for other sports. Can you imagine skiing in lingerie?
Have you ever experienced sexism in sport? Have you ever had a really positive mixed sporting experience, like Nat?