The Smoking Gun has revealed the Lingerie Football League to be a cheap, exploitative outfit that behaves goonishly toward its own athletes, which is acceptable in America only if you're the NFL.
The Smoking Gun got its hands on a letter from one of the league's lawyer to nine former players. It threatens legal action over the "posting of false and defamatory internet posts regarding the Lingerie Football League, its current players and League Staff." It's not clear what the posts were, but the site reports:
According to several former players, league founder Mitchell Mortaza and his deputies have repeatedly threatened legal action when players have complained (or simply inquired) about health coverage and wages. [...] Mortaza, a former "Blind Date" contestant whose rap sheet includes drunk driving and public intoxication arrests, is the league's chief enforcer. In an October e-mail to a player who had written to him about disorganized practices, Mortaza responded, "Let me give you a little advice and this goes for any other player creating unnecessary, drama. Simply SHUT UP and play football."
And if, in the course of playing football, they were to flash a little skin, well, so be it. It's in their contracts:
Player shall wear wardrobe provided by Producer. In light of the foregoing, said wardrobe material shall be "non-see through" material. Player shall not wear any additional garments under wardrobe provided by Producer without prior written consent from Producer. Should Player violate this clause, Player shall be fined a total sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per occurrence.
NUDITY: Player has been advised and hereby acknowledges that Player's participation in the Event and the related practice sessions and Player's services and performances hereunder may involve accidental nudity. In light of the foregoing, Player knowingly and voluntarily agrees to provide Player's services hereunder and has no objection to providing services involving Player's accidental nudity.
Arbitrary fines, horrible contracts, bullying management-types, picayune rules about wardrobe, total disregard for the health of the players. It's just like the NFL, the only difference being that the NFL shows a lot more ass.
UPDATE: The league responds:
We here at the Lingerie Football League wanted to make certain you had both sides of the story. We refused to go on the record with Smoking Gun because they have a personal friendship with the bitter former player that planted this story.
Instead of focusing on a few players that were either released for missing mandatory practices, lack of talent, being overweight or simply quit themselves, why not focus on the 250+ active players in the league that love their LFL experience and appreciate the opportunity. Or maybe focus on the fact that league's attendance for the 2nd home game is up nearly 50% percent or the fact that we currently have record traffic at LFLUS.com or that we have already gained 2 expansion markets in 2010.
We can assure you, the player that planted this story with Smoking Gun desperately wanted back into the league very recently and only fabricated this story because she was denied re-entry.
In relation to covering injuries, we have had over 100 injuries this season both severe and minor, each have been well taken care of by our league and extensive medical group partners in each team market. I invite you to meet with any one of a multitude of active players that either have been injured or are currently on injured reserve and receiving top-notch medical care.
Secondly, we do not allow players to wear unapproved wardrobe under their uniforms to avoid any sponsor conflicts, we provide other wardrobe and/or covering to avoid accidental nudity. Any active player knows this policy and reasoning for it, it has nothing to do with encouraging nudity. In fact, we fine and terminate players that purposely try to disrobe another player, once again, you would know this if you interviewed an active player or reached out to the league for comment. We have had instances where players attempt to wear unofficial sponsor gear under their uniform, this policy discourages it.
Lastly, if you interview any active player or the thousands on our waiting list awaiting their opportunity to play in the LFL, you will find that they view the LFL as an experience of a lifetime. Not to mention that they become instant sports celebrities in their towns and make life-long memories/friendships. The league also covers all travel, meals, hotels, equipment, wardrobe etc. I challenge you to find another women's pro football league that has this level of benefit for it's players.
Lingerie Football League, LLC.
Lingerie League Gets Litigious [The Smoking Gun]