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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Lingerie football disgraces women’s battle for respect

    Sunday wasn’t just about the Super Bowl, it was also the day of the Lingerie Football League’s IX bowl game. That’s right — lingerie football. As if women didn’t already have a hard enough time earning respect for being athletes, now they have to deal with pseudo-athletes taking their clothes off. Call this a massive loss of yards for the women’s right’s movement.

    The “sport” originated in 2003, as a gimmick during the Super Bowl halftime show, and was only available on Pay-Per-View. It then evolved into a league of 10 teams in 2009, by founder Mitch Mortaza who acknowledged that “there has to be some kind of a gimmick or a hook to lure fans and media in.” Of course, because it’s women’s sports, they have to be scantily clad and seen as sexy, not athletic, for there to be any interest.

    The players’ “uniforms” consist of shoulder pads and kneepads, helmets, push-up bras and cheeky panties. To play professional football, which this country has deemed specifically a “man sport,” women have to run around in outfits that could fall off at any second?

    “It doesn’t seem very practical to be wearing lingerie when you play football,” said Samantha Uber, an anthropology juniorg anthropology. “Your boobs could fall out and your nipple could get ripped off.”

    It’s unfortunate that this is the only way to garner interest for a women’s team. This charade demeans the athleticism of these women, many of whom have backgrounds as semi-pro and college athletes, as well as body builders and fitness trainers, according to thescore.com.

    Even some of the players weren’t too keen on the idea of wearing lingerie at first.

    Angela Rypien, daughter of Redskins Super Bowl most valuable player quarterback Mark Rypien’s daughter, told Seattle’s Morning News station 93.7 that it was “awkward” the first time her dad saw her in her uniform.

    “I didn’t want to see my daughter playing football in, basically, her underwear,” Mark Rypien told ESPN.com. “It’s just unfortunate that the lingerie thing is what the league initially has to do to get it off the ground.”

    How do these athletes expect to get respect when they trounce around in outfits that make men drool and earn women’s scorn? Women don’t respect the Lingerie Football League because their outfits are objectifying. And though the men may be watching, let’s hope the lingerie players don’t think they’re watching for the score.

    Women fought to be treated as equals to men in society, in the workplace and in athletics. The women who participate in this league are being counterproductive if they think this is how to get women’s sports national respect. Fans should be watching the games for the player’s athleticism and talent, not their cup size.

    — Rebecca Miller is a junior studying photography and journalism. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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