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What’s Wrong With The Lingerie Football League?

Posted in Editorials on January 22nd, 2013

Last week, the entity previously known as the “Lingerie Football League” made an announcement. It will now be known as the “Legends Football League, and

-Performance wear replaces all lingerie aspects of uniform.
-New design of logos removing any sexy female figures.
-Redesign of shoulder pads to increase protection.
-Brand tagline shifts from ‘True Fantasy Football’ to ‘Women of the Gridrion

To be honest, I expect the new uniform to be just as revealing – the video accompanying the announcement shows women lifting weights in sports bras and short shorts instead of frilly bras and panties.

I don’t object to the idea of skimpy uniforms just because they are skimpy. There is nothing wrong with the idea of erotic performance in general. But I do object to the LFL on the grounds of workers rights and human rights (Hat Tip, Fit and Feminist):

1. LFL Players don’t get paid a salary. They get a percentage of the box office for each game, depending on whether or not they win, and this money rarely amounts to minimum wage.

2. Playing a full contact sport in a uniform designed for sex appeal rather than safety is extremely dangerous. LFL players frequently suffer rug burns from playing tackle football in their underwear, which can lead to nasty infections.

“We were sustaining really severe turf burns … because we had basically elbow pads and knee pads that you could just buy at the dollar store,” said Poles, who added that she got a staph infection from the burns after the league’s championship game last February.

Even more serious is the risk of head and neck injury. The players do not wear Football helmets that other leagues use, (even women’s leagues who wear traditional uniforms) and their shoulder pads have not been adequate for the game they are playing.

“We were given shoulder pads but no helmets, and were engaging in contact at practice,” one player told me. Players say they observed multiple injuries that they believed to be concussions during practices.

Even after helmets showed up, the head injury concerns didn’t abate. According to players, the league sent them helmets that were totally inappropriate for football and had them modify the helmets themselves in dangerous ways.

“Two weeks before the game, we were sent hockey helmets and were asked to drill and attach football chinstraps and visors ourselves,” one player said. “The coaches, of course, helped. This drilling compromised the integrity of the helmet.”

Players said the safety concerns went well beyond just the helmets, though.

“More extreme concerns arose when our shoulder pads arrived a month before the game, and they were boys’ pads with a maximum weight restriction of 120 pounds,” one player said. “The majority of girls on the team weigh more than that.”

Although the recent press release notes that the shoulder pads have been resdesigned, there is no mention of a change in helmets, and this is a matter of life or death.

3. Medical treatment for injuries sustained during games or team practices are not covered by the league.

A player’s primary insurance policy is used to cover any injuries resulting from a league-mandated practice or game, according to a 2010-11 Chicago Bliss contract obtained by the Star. If the player does not have a primary policy, she can opt to pay $250 (U.S.) for a league policy that covers injury up to $10,000.

“A $10,000 cap is not going to cover any type of severe injury,” Poles said. “There are a significant number of players that are no longer playing because their insurance didn’t cover injuries.”

Natasha Lindsey, a former quarterback and captain for the Seattle Mist from April 2009 to October 2010, is suing the league for $10,000 worth of unpaid medical bills. Lindsey tore ligaments in her knee last October during the Bliss’ season opener and said she spent $16,000 on surgery plus rehab costs.

“During my injury, I was not given any insurance information by the league to help pay for any bills, although the league kept my paycheque for the first game for the ($250) insurance deductible,” she said in an email. “It took the league three months to get me an MRI and another three months to contemplate even paying half of my surgery.”

4. The league opposes the creation of a players union. Most other professional sports leagues in the United States are unionized, even niche ones like the WNBA, MLS and professional lacrosse.


Until serious changes are made to the actual terms of employment and safety protection of the players, it doesn’t matter if the name has changed from “Lingerie” to “Legends,” or if the uniforms now cover a few more inches of skin. That no player has yet been killed or paralyzed during a game is a matter of sheer luck. It’s clear that LFL puts profit and fan enjoyment/titillation over the health and lives of the players, and this is unconscionable.

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8 Responses to “What’s Wrong With The Lingerie Football League?”

  1. sam Says:

    “Worker’s rights”?

    They aren’t slaves. They can choose not to compete. They aren’t forced to do this. This isn’t any of your business at all.

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    Hi Sam. I’m sorry you don’t understand why worker’s rights are interesting to me or to the public in general. What I choose to write about on my blog isn’t any of your business at all.

  3. Michael Says:

    I would give the girls better pads, but in return for even skimpier uniforms. They could wear thong briefs instead of the current hot pants, and half-bras, so with a bit of luck we would see more nip slips.

  4. Elizabeth Says:

    I’m sure dem titties look real good with staph infections!

  5. Evelyn Haaning Says:

    These girls chose to play a man’s game so injuries are a part of the game.they have no business on a football field.football is a rough game,folks.

  6. Elizabeth Says:

    Evelyn, do you object to men football players wearing protective gear? Injuries are just part of the game right? So why not let the men play in speedos and hockey helmets?

  7. Marx Says:

    I know this league has to be making big money, if not then it’s not being properly promoted in my opinion. There’s still a lot of people that have never heard of the LFL. OMG, I had assumed that these ladies were being very well compensated for what they do. I’m sorry, but something’s not right about this. The LFL is much too entertaining for the pay and benefits to be so low for the players. Not only are these ladies incredibly sexy, they are tough, skilled and action packed. I say unionize and strike. Trust me, they will be missed and people will start asking questions

  8. Wayne Johnson Says:

    I did not know about the LFL until recently when I was surfing the web and happened upon a game in progress. These women love the game and put all their effort into it for little or no pay so the overall League coverage is totally unacceptable and the rules have to be restructured to protect these women better such as better helmets and pads so they have a better chance of surviving to play another day. Let’s face it; they can get injured just like in the NFL. I have seen some of the hits and it’s no joke! On top of the physical aspect no medical compensation is available. How bad is that? Hopefully the ratings will increase because it is very enjoyable to watch but the League has to procure more wealthy investors, sponsorship, stakeholders and agressive advertising to make this work and pay these women what they deserve before they strike or walk away and it will be too late to fix what is broken.

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