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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lingerie Football League Puts Star Players on Probation for Wearing Too Much

Broward Lingerie Football Cover.jpg
Click here for a slideshow of outtakes from the cover shoot.
Lingerie Football League executives, being the true arbiters of class and taste that they are, have put two of the best players in the league on probation for -- of all things -- having too much on during a recent photo shoot.

Mariam Mortaza, sister of the league founder, recently informed both players involved in a New Times photo shoot that they are now on probation.

This is a league where "accidental nudity" clauses are written into every contract and the players are often covered in baby oil before team photo shoots. So what, exactly, did these women do to upset league executives?

They were photographed wearing shoulder pads. No, really.

It was during a cover shoot for a recent New Times feature story on the Miami Caliente. Miami Caliente quarterback Anonka Dixon was featured on the cover of the Miami New Times. Tina
Caccavale, Dixon's favorite receiver, was featured in New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

During games, the women wear shoulder pads, elbow pads, kneepads, and helmets. But when the women of the LFL are photographed, the league generally has them wear only the satin bra and underwear. For the photos accompanying our story, which details the lives of a few lingerie football players as well as the history of the league, we encouraged the women to wear their shoulder pads to look like the fierce athletes they are.

An email I received from Stephon McMillen, media director for the LFL, explains that the players are in trouble because they were photographed wearing shoulder pads and a Nike wristband "without authorization."

Lingerie Football Cover Miami.jpg
The photo shoot was arranged with the league beforehand. During the week of the LFL playoffs, I spoke with several league officials about the story and the photo shoot, including McMillen, league founder and President Mitch Mortaza, and another league public relations representative. They were all cooperative.

It seems the league wasn't pleased with the article, though. In the email from McMillen, I was informed that I "personally have been banned from being credentialed to cover any LFL or Miami Caliente events and/or games."

According to McMillen, New Times is now banned because we wrote about Mortaza's appearance on the reality show Blind Date ten years ago and because: "You failed to focus on any of Mr. Mortaza's success' [sic] such as launching a women's tackle football league in a tough economical [sic] environment and its growth in 2010." He added:

"Mr. Mortaza has a no non-sense [sic] approach and is extremely passionate about his league and is well respected amongst LFL players. If the LFL is such a horrible experience for its players which you certainly gave an impression of, let me ask you, why do so many return? Why are their [sic] players that have played since 2004? Why are the players that you featured coming back after apparently being placed on probation?"

Dixon had better stats than any other player in the league during the inaugural season, and she accounted for more than 80 percent of Miami's touchdowns. Caccavale led the league in both receptions and interceptions. So apparently the team is willing to punish their firepower if they do something as diabolical as stand for a photograph while they wear shoulder pads.