I know it might be hard to believe, but I played in a Hmong woman's flag football league for four years. Since I was fifteen starting high school and until I graduated high school. I was a shut-down corner-back (or I like to think so..=) ) and defensive captain for my beloved team, Regulators. My cousins and I built the team from the ground up. We were one of the first teams established for Hmong woman's flag football. So, I have a lot of love for the game, the unity of teams and also women in sports in general. The July 4th soccer tournament held at the Como Park field is something equivalent to the Super Bowl. It features many sports competitions, men's soccer being the major headliner. Hmong people from all over the country come to the tournament every year. And in 2007, something new was added to the agenda which was Hmong Woman's Flag Football; in which my team debuted. It was such a great thing to be a part of. Finally, Hmong women were given a spot amongst the men and not just presented as playing a more 'girly' sport such as volleyball. Throughout the years, more woman's flag football teams emerged and it became highly competitive.
I stopped playing the summer after high school graduation. I loved the sport and I still do. However, I couldn't find the time for it anymore. I had to earn my livelihood and I couldn't do that playing in a small community woman's flag football league. Yes, it was just 'for fun' and I was really good at it. In reality, playing flag football isn't going to get me anywhere. It's just not going to sell.
However.. there were still a couple options. There is the option of joining the Minnesota Vixens, a semi-pro woman's tackle football team. However, they aren't paid or televised like all other sports. I'd make way more money working a 9-5. Another option would be to join the Lingerie Football League: Minnesota Valkyrie; which gets way more revenue, fans and press than the Vixens. The reason why? It is simple: because it's women in lingerie playing tackle football with cute names such as MN Valkyrie, LA Temptation, Chicago Bliss, Tampa Breeze, or Orlando Fantasy. Cute women in lingerie playing football? Or butch women in full gear playing football? Franchise holders would choose the former. There were tryouts at the beginning of this year and sadly, I almost attended because someone referred me and said I had a high chance of getting in. Thankfully, I did not go to the tryout after doing some research. The LFL players also don't get any type of salary. They get free clothing and paid trips to which ever city you'll be playing against. The benefit? You might catch the eye of a famous football/basketball player or just a rich man in general. Also, under the rules for tryouts, it stated "DRESS ATTIRE IS CUTE GYM WEAR (SPORTS BRA & SHORTS) WITH SNEAKERS OR CLEATS." I like to look cute and all, but to be TOLD to look cute (in a sports bra and shorts) is a completely different thing. All in all, sex sells and sexy women in sports sell. It's been like that for as long as I can remember. When I watch game clips from the LFL, I see passion and the love those women have for the game, but I think it's sad that they have to be dressed in barely any clothing to sell themselves as serious players of the sport.
Submitted by Chua Xiong