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Lingerie football: sport or porn?

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Lingerie football touches down in Sydney.

Lingerie football touches down in Sydney. Photo: Brendan Esposito

This past June my fellow Americans raided Australian shores and gave Sydneysiders and BrisVegas folks a taste of the "fastest-growing female sport in the world" - the Lingerie Football League (LFL).

Sex and gridiron football are two things I love. But so are lobster and peanut butter - it doesn't mean mixing them will result in a quality product. Here are three reasons why I don't consider LFL a sport:

Because sport is asexual

Sport is a time where male and female athletes can hug, slap a teammate's bum, and put an arm around one another without any sexual connotation. There's no gay, straight or otherwise… it's about the sport. Even blokey onlookers hug and pat their mates during great moments of rugby, AFL, and cricket.

But the LFL? The touching and the tackling all while in lingerie is too much about sex, and it isn't right. It doesn't take Google long to highlight some of the sexiest moments of the sport, with its revealing panty-tackles. Is this sport?

Anita Palm, a former Olympian and President of Women's Sport Queensland, doesn't think so. "It's demeaning to women, especially when you hear of women losing their pants on the field of play. If they just played ladies gridiron in full gear, nobody would be there watching. It's entertainment for men, not sport," she said.

"To see women playing in their underwear, brings us back years in sporting evolution."

I tend to agree. And as men, we probably think about sex quite enough throughout the day. Sport is the one time where we can switch off to give that side of the brain a rest.

Because of Australian history

One thing I enjoy about Australia is the love that every individual has for sport. From Melbourne Cup days to our famous swimmers, tennis players, rricket, rugby league and AFL stars and union greats, our athletes are remembered as gods.

So is LFL a sport that could ever become part of Australian culture?

Sporting legends create memories and history for this country. Does LFL meet this criteria? I think not. LFL athletes won't line up with Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman and Stephanie Rice as Australian greats, nor do we want our daughters at games declaring 'Daddy I want to play in the LFL one day'.

I grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Notre Dame, so I know what quality gridiron is and is not. It's a wonderful hard-hitting sport, and while the LFL girls are fit, fast, and hit hard, it's a shame they strip down to nearly nothing.

Stripping isn't part of Australian sporting history so the LFL shouldn't be part of it either.

Because I am a man

First, let me say that I love attractive women and I also love sport. I just don't think the two should be blended together and filling arenas. (And I really can't see men coughing up large sums for a ticket to lingerie football when they can have a front row seat to 'racier' entertainment for free on their home computer.)

Darrin Mitchell, a Director of Gridiron Australia which has been operating since 1996, says the 'sport' is not doing any favours for the profile of gridiron either.

"It's not true football. The girls in the LFL aren't wearing mandatory equipment as stated by the NCAA (American regulators), so there's a safety issue. There is room for women to play the sport – the true sport. But the LFL is merely entertainment," he said.

With the Olympics approaching, some amazing female athletes will be out there proving why Australia is a sporting powerhouse, and they deserve better than that.

They really don't need LFL out there belittling their achievements and turning more legitimate female competitions into some sort of sexual arena.

So lets give them all a sporting chance and consign LFL to the 'stag party' realm of mud and jelly wrestling. 

Is Lingerie Football a real sport or soft porn with pads?

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84 comments so far

  • I have heard of this game, but had no idea it had been classified as a sport. Who decided to call it a sport? Would they get funding as a sporting organisation in Australia? I wouldn't have thought so.

    In the end, when watching basketball or rugby, we're all pretty happy when the cheerleaders leave and the game starts aren't we? Entertainment - maybe, sport - definitely not.

    Commenter
    Ace
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    June 20, 2012, 12:31PM
    • For those who are calling it a non-sport... Have you actually watched a game? These girls are supremely fit, extremely agile and 100% committed to every busting run and every tackle. Apparently there is a Dodge Ball league now but I'd watch LFL before that regardless of what the Dodge Ballers wore because the training and commitment of the LFL players IS professional grade. They may be in small outfits but ask a professional Olympic Beach Volleyballer who has more on during a game... Ask a male or female kayaker, canoeist, rower, gymnast... There's no imagination required for whats under those uniforms! Excluding the name and a garter, it's very much Football League and just a little bit lingerie.

      Commenter
      Mikethefireman
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 20, 2012, 3:02PM
    • @Ace, in fact in the USA cheer leading is a sport!

      Commenter
      Wear what you want
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 20, 2012, 7:27PM
    • Mikethefireman - I'm sorry, but it's not a sport. I have nothing but respect for Pro Wrestlers, as they are amazing athletes, but they aren't playing a sport.

      If this was a true sport, then their would be no requirement to wear lingerie. Add this to the fact that they claim to be playing grid iron, but don't follow grid iron rules, and you have a total sham of a "competition". Losing pants of field in sport? What a farce.

      Commenter
      Chris S.
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 21, 2012, 9:16AM
  • You mention Stephanie Rice in the article and this confuses me as didn't she make a lot of money advertising underwear for Bonds? So is your point that if you get paid by a sponsor to be photographed in your undies that is ok, but you can't play sport in your undies?

    Commenter
    Why Bash It
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    June 20, 2012, 12:34PM
    • That may be, but she didn't do it while in the middle of her swimming! There's a difference between what happens on the field of play and off the field of play.

      Commenter
      Chris S.
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 21, 2012, 9:17AM
  • Look out the fun police are back, if you don't like it Michael don't watch it. I'm female and it doesn't offend me.

    Commenter
    Betty
    Date and time
    June 20, 2012, 12:37PM
    • Betty, the question was not about whether lingerie football should exist, but whether it is a sport.

      To answer that question, if it is a sport, so is jelly wrestling, foxy boxing and other titilating pretend sports.

      Women do play gridiron, and they don't need to strip down to do it.

      Commenter
      ST
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 20, 2012, 1:32PM
    • Thanks for some realism Betty. WTF does someone's personal view have to do with me? I like it ! . . . .

      Commenter
      Redneck
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      June 20, 2012, 1:57PM
    • 'ST' do you rate bowls as a sport? golf?....... the list could go on. Your logic is flawed.

      p.s. these girls wear more than beach volleyball girls

      Commenter
      jack
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      June 20, 2012, 2:22PM

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