Players Cry Foul, But Lingerie Bowl a Go

Reports of pay dispute and player opposition to playing at nudist camp cause stir

By TJ Sullivan
|  Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009  |  Updated 12:57 PM PDT
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This year's Lingerie Bowl would be the sixth since its inception.

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Much as the Los Angeles-based operators of the Lingerie Bowl might like to keep this under wraps, several of this year's comely competitors have apparently quit, allegedly to protest both inadequate compensation and the location of the event, which some say would require them to compromise their principles.

Playing football in foundation garments in one thing, but doing so at a Florida nudist resort is just ... phooey.

You've got to draw the line somewhere!

The St. Petersberg Times reported Tuesday that an attorney for six of the players expressed his clients' disappointment at being paid a mere $1,000 for the game (70 percent less than allegedly promised), and related their collective disgust at being asked to compete at a nudist resort in Pasco County, Florida.

Lingerie Bowl quarterback Reby Sky said she has nothing against the nudist lifestyle, but, hey … can't a professional female athlete catch a break? These women have it hard enough defending against what Sky calls the "negative stigmas and stereotypes" associated with running around playing football in their skivvies. Do they really need the added embarrassment of playing at a nudist resort?

Imagine what it must feel like to be laughed at by regular people, who are naked.

The LA company that runs the Lingerie Football League has downplayed the matter as the whining of a few out-of-shape has-beens. Dissenters were characterized as having an overall lack of "preparation and attitude," which are apparently key components of the company's effort to maintain the integrity of the sport.

The St. Pete Times says Stephon McMillen, the president of LFL operator Horizon Productions, claimed to have a roster of "thousands of models" who want to join the LFL.

So there.

The January 31 event must go on, or off, or on? Definitely "on." It's scheduled to be broadcast February 1 as a pay-per-view event during the Super Bowl halftime show, provided the LFL can get through those serious issues that had yet to be resolved as of last week.

Approval from the City of Tampa, Florida, is required, and off-duty police officers must be hired with the approval of the police department to provide security for the event.

In addition, a coalition of neighborhood associations has formed to oppose the game. The MSNBC report, however, did not clarify whether those were clothed, or unclothed, neighbors.

-- TJ Sullivan

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