Is lingerie football degrading to women?
Ken Gousseau, CTV Saskatoon
Published Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:32PM CST
After news broke Wednesday that a lingerie football team is coming to Regina, rumours began circulating about a second Saskatchewan-based team, which would call Saskatoon home. The news has ignited debate about whether the scantily-clad sport is degrading to women.
In addition to shoulder, elbow and knee pads, Lingerie Football League players wear garters, bras and panties.
While details like the team name and schedule have not been released, the Brandt Centre has been named the official home of the franchise.
On Thursday, CTV Morning Live asked Facebook and Twitter users whether they thought the concept of the league is degrading to women. The responses were mixed.
"I'm all for women's football but why would it be in lingerie if not to reduce women to objects?" asked Michelle James.
However, A.J. White says "if you don't like it, don't watch."
"Women have a right to choose to play. It's like any other job that you get paid to do," he said.
"If you want to talk about "skimpy" clothing, why do boxers just wear shorts… (and mixed martial arts) fighters wear tight trunks?"
In an interview Thursday, LFL founder and chairman Mitchell Mortaza dismissed suggestions that the sport is degrading to women.
"We always equate our athletes to the Anna Kournikovas of tennis or the Gabrielle Reeses of volleyball; Danica Patrick of racing – women that are incredibly athletic and accomplished in athletics, but also beautiful and marketable. We're confident we're going to find those throughout Saskatchewan," Mortaza said.
"They're literally going to be your sisters; they're going to be your mothers; they're going to be your doctors. These are exceptional women, great athletes, and that's who's going to represent Regina."
Mortaza predicts as many as 6,000 fans will pack into the Brandt Centre to watch the Regina team's two home games this fall. The 12-week regular season kicks off Aug. 25
LFL franchises were previously awarded to Abbotsford, B.C. and Toronto.
Michelle Cheong currently plays in B.C.'s Touch Football League and is considering applying for Abbotsford's recently-announced lingerie squad.
But Cheong, who says she plays two to three times per week with "amazing women" who have no trouble outperforming their male counterparts, sees the arrival of the Lingerie Football League as a mixed blessing.
"It's such an amazing opportunity to get to play as professionally as possible," Cheong said. "Playing in lingerie is definitely the other side of the equation. Will I be willing to play in lingerie? Would that detract from the actual sport itself? I'm not sure."
The LFL says tryout dates will be announced shortly, and for players like Cheong, their arrival will bring tough decisions.
"Half of me really loves the idea of playing football," she said. "The other half doesn't know if I'm ready to play in lingerie."
With files from CTV British Columbia