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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