LFL far more than just skimpy outfits

Anna Heasman Columnist

By Anna Heasman, Anna Heasman is a Roar Expert

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52 Have your say

    Anna Heasman for the Green Bay Chill (Image: Legends Football League LLC)

    With the kick-off of the inaugural season of Legends Football League Australia still just under three weeks away, the negative publicity has already started to surface.

    The Australian competition consists of four teams – New South Surge, Queensland Brigade, Western Australia Angels and Victorian Maidens – with the season opener being a State of Origin-esque matchup between the Surge and Brigade at Centrebet Stadium.

    I am very eager to see whether the sport takes off in Australia. The fast-paced, high-scoring, 7 on 7 version of full contact American football will certainly be a novelty for Australian audiences – not to mention our skin-baring uniforms which are always a source of heated debate in the media.

    Obviously beautiful, athletic women playing footy is an instant hit with the greater male audience for obvious reasons, but it also sparks many ethical concerns for a large number of people as well.

    It certainly is understandable from an outsider’s perspective issues of sexism naturally come to the fore.

    However, if I felt I was selling my soul for a chance to play footy at a high level I would not play.

    Myself and the rest of the Legends Football League community spend a lot of time justifying the sport and why we play.

    We play for the love of competition, the same reason any athlete commits to their respective sports.

    The sad reality of women’s sport is that it takes a novelty approach to attract a decent fan base and the sponsorship and commercial benefits that come with it.

    We are an aesthetically driven society, as much as we like to believe that we’re better than that.

    It does prove exhausting continually facing the critics and truthfully it seems to be women that are hardest on their fellow women.

    Many of us learn that from a young age in the school yard. This has happened a number of times – I’ll be out and about with my team promoting our games and hand a pamphlet to a guy in a sports jersey.

    His wife then promptly whisks in, grabs his wrist and pulls him away, simultaneously taking said pamphlet, screwing it up and throwing it in the bin in disgust leaving me (a happily married, educated woman) feeling like a bit of a prostitute, for lack of a better word.

    Thankfully that’s not always the story, and I always love winning over female fans.

    Sometimes it takes watching a game for people to appreciate the skill and athleticism of the players. We don’t just whack on a bikini and have a pillow fight, we train hard and hit hard.

    The thing I don’t understand is that it’s ok to wear a bikini on the beach, it’s ok to wear lingerie on the catwalk (like Aussie sweetheart Miranda Kerr), it’s ok to wear a small uniform in a beach volleyball court and it’s ok to wear a skimpy uniform on the sidelines cheerleading at a footy game.

    However somehow the combination of a skimpy uniform whilst competing on anything other than sand, a catwalk or sideline instigates a societal gag reflex!

    I’m not a dill and realise the issue is a little more complex than that, I just don’t take the uniform too seriously – just the football.

    The Legends Football League continues to evolve and the standard of play is ever-improving. I can assure you put the aforementioned lovely Miranda Kerr on the field, no offence intended but she would not last 1 down!

    To Australian sports fans: if you’re sceptical, games will be broadcast on 7Mate so give it a watch before you make up your mind.

    I’m quietly confident Australian audiences will ‘give it a go’!

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • Roar Guru

      November 18th 2013 @ 4:25pm
      Mantis said | November 18th 2013 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

      I wish you all the best, but I just cant see the sport taking off here. Nothing to do with the athletes, more to do with the sport.

      • Columnist

        November 19th 2013 @ 4:21pm
        Anna Heasman said | November 19th 2013 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

        Now I actually understand the rules and dynamic of American football I can’t get enough. Have become an avid Packers follower. Previously I had written the sport off for being too stop/start not to mention the ridiculous gear! Didn’t take long at all to warm to the sport though Mantis, it’s a terrific game.

    • November 18th 2013 @ 5:09pm
      micka said | November 18th 2013 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

      I’ll watch it.

      The negative attention from other women is just the sad old continuation of some women being their own worst enemies.

      I don’t care about seeing a male footy player get his rig out during warm downs etc (the universal attention to Majak Daw’s physique anyone?) but then again I am no more insecure about mine than your average punter. I don’t really understand why these women are so insecure about other women being fit and playing sport and it being broadcast….

      I wouldn’t sweat about it Anna, if these women were sports fans, they would be watching the netball or the W League or the WNBL but the reality is that don’t appear to be. The LFL just have a marketing angle that will eventually lead to more dollars for use in training and developing best practice as well as decent payments for the athletes.

      Maybe I am just a bloke and don’t get it….

      • November 19th 2013 @ 6:52am
        Adam Smith said | November 19th 2013 @ 6:52am | ! Report


    • November 18th 2013 @ 7:10pm
      AWOL said | November 18th 2013 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

      Say what you will but its not the sports tactical side thats getting it broadcasted

    • November 18th 2013 @ 10:31pm
      J.T. Delacroix said | November 18th 2013 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

      I hope Penny Wong doesn’t get hold of this one! The game I mean.

    • Roar Guru

      November 19th 2013 @ 3:48am
      ak said | November 19th 2013 @ 3:48am | ! Report

      I don’t think the outfit is skimpy at all.

    • November 19th 2013 @ 7:04am
      Adam Smith said | November 19th 2013 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      Women complaining just because these girls are attractive? Or revealing too much flesh? Go out in public and see how many women are wearing sleeveless tops and skirts, even in freezing cold days. This proves women like the attention and want to look sexy. Look at cheerleaders, you think they are ashamed of themselves? They love doing what they do, in America it’s every girls’ dream to be a cheerleader, which is basically just entertainment for males. This LFL game is a product and reflection of our culture. Companies are saying ‘sex sells’ because it does, everywhere you see attractive people being provocative to sell products so why wouldn’t this also naturally be used in sport. LFL isn’t anything out of this world, it’s a reflection of what our society is like. Women are bringing this on themselves. They are more than happy to wear revealing clothing so obviously they are happy with this.

      • Columnist

        November 19th 2013 @ 4:13pm
        Anna Heasman said | November 19th 2013 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

        Hrmmm a mass of generalisations there Matt. I don’t enjoy being oogled, I love playing footy at a national level though. I am comfortable in my own skin having said that. I certainly do not think all American women aspire to be cheerleaders (who are amazing athletes in their own right – most are gymnasts). It is walking a fine line I agree…but the players are looking forward to the ongoing evolution of the sport

        • Columnist

          November 19th 2013 @ 4:32pm
          Anna Heasman said | November 19th 2013 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

          Adam, sorry

        • December 7th 2013 @ 2:11pm
          Adam Smith said | December 7th 2013 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

          Just to be clear, I am actually a big supporter of this game. I absolutely love it. And I’m going to watch the games live (1st game starts tonight!). And the others I’ll get my mate to record the HD games for me as I personally don’t have channel 7 reception. Not sure what you were trying to say. Oogle = To gaze at in admiration, Ogle = stare at in a lecherous manner. I would fit into the first definition, not the second. I just don’t like these negative people saying it’s ‘undoing the progress of womens rights’. From what I understand, this is going to be one of the best if not the best women’s sports. I personally love NFL / Gridiron, and follow the local Sydney competition (almost played but got injured before the first game). So all in all, it’s a positive thing for women’s sports and for gridiron in Australia. Yes this is way more than just skimpy outfits, it could very well be the start of a new age of women’s sports.

      • November 20th 2013 @ 10:18pm
        dasilva said | November 20th 2013 @ 10:18pm | ! Report

        I agree. Think before the days of welfare state, industrial revolution and technology that allows work to be an office air conditioned job that just as safe as your own home (really IMO technological advancement was what liberated women to the workplace, I highly doubt feminism could have widespread support amongst both genders without the technology that created the middle class and made work a safe environment)

        Majority of work would involve hard physical labour especially for majority of the population who aren’t part of the elite.

        How do you convince a guy who could make enough money and resources to just feed and support himself and his own personal interest to go out and make enough money to provide not just for himself but to support another human being and their children. Especially when work could potentially involves dangerous physical labour. What could make guys so silly to make all this resource just to give it to someone else?

        Sex of course – this also combined with emotional support in relationship as well but that is hard to commodify

        As they say sex is power and I find it hard to see this as “oppressive”

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