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Baltimore Charm plays football in lingerie – is their pay skimpy too?

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Members of the Lingerie Football League’s “Baltimore Charm”

Photo by: Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Charm, which is Baltimore’s new Lingerie Football League team, played the Tampa Breeze at 1st Mariner Arena on Friday night, unfortunately beginning their first home game of their first season with a loss of 33-0.

Another place the women might be losing? In their wallets, depending on the accuracy of various reports on how much women on the other teams in the League are paid.

Claims about how much the women (who play football while wearing bikini tops and briefs) are paid vary, depending on who you talk to.

Former LFL player Amber Ryan told the Dallas Cowboy Times that players make a percentage of ticket sales, which the League confirms.

Meanwhile three former “LA Temptation” players are reportedly suing the League for, among other things, being paid less than $8 an hour (California’s minimum wage), not receiving overtime, and not getting a cut from the 2010 $100,000 LFL Championship purse.

According to the LFL, all players on all teams are paid in the same way:  “All LFL players are paid the same bonus structure of 20% of ticket sales if they win and 10% if they lose,” said LFL Media Director Stephon McMillen in an email to the Brew today.

This pay structure includes players for the Baltimore Charm, McMillen said:  “Charm players are paid based on attendance, just like every other (LFL) team.”

But “bonus structure” is a somewhat misleading phrase, since it describes players’ total compensation — not a bonus amount on top of a base annual salary or even an hourly rate.

“We do not pay salaries because LFL player are not employees,” said McMillen, referring to the fact that players in the league are considered independent contractors.

Hold it, hold it. Time-out!

Some readers may still be struggling with the basic idea of this cheesy soft-core “sport” existing at all in 2010. Believe it folks.

In its second year, the 10-team league already has a nationwide cable television broadcast partner; corporate sponsors, and they’re finalizing a contract for a reality television series next summer, according to The Washington Post.

The Charm, an expansion team, joins the Dallas Desire, the San Diego Seduction and  – you get the idea. High-octane auto dealer and television pitchman Scott Donahoo has reportedly said he would like to buy an interest in the Charm. Of course, he would!

The LFL makes a point of defining itself as a sport rather than women running around a field without many clothes on. Baltimore Charm coach Rick Reeder told the Post that he’s “looking for football players,” not babes: “This isn’t about women running around in almost nothing. This is about competing. About winning.”

The Post reporter also overheard a television director at a recent Charm game give his cameraman some directions he  probably wouldn’t have heard at an NFL game: “get lots  of great (rear) shots!”

Okay, we now return you to the feature story already in progress.

Revealing outfits, but not “financials

Players on the team that wins the “Lingerie Bowl” also receive “a large bonus,” according to McMillen, who wouldn’t say the size of the bonus or respond when asked what a woman makes on average in a year, based on the 10%/20% ticket sale percentage they have in place.

“We do not comment on actual financials because the LFL is privately held corporation,” he said.

McMillen also pointed that, as of 2010, LFL players are “also now free to pursue endorsement deals.”

Fantasybaseballdugout.com claims players make approximately $40,000 a year, which could be accurate depending on the number of spectators that buy tickets in a given year and how many wins or loses the team receives.

On the other side of the gender-sports-payment spectrum, the median salary of an NFL player in 2009 was $770,000, according to the Boston Globe.

New England Patriots star Tom Brady just re-upped his contract for an additional $72 million over four years, according to ESPN, which means he will soon receive the highest yearly salary of any player in NFL history.

However much women in the LFL are paid, it’s probably safe to say that it’s less than male football players who are, incidentally, given the opportunity to play the game and wear clothes on the field all at the same time.

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  • SerialBill

    The fact is, no one has to play if they don't want to, and no one has to watch if they don't want to. If you don't like the league and want it to stop, don't go to the games. If you do like it and want the players to get more money, go to the games and bring as many friends as you can – that's what I am doing. My sister and I liked the last game so much that we are bringing my Mom to the next one. The players work hard to play hard, and they look great doing it and are proud to show it off – their bodies are nothing to be ashamed of, but I guess they are something to be jealous of. Go to a game and judge for yourself, the players are there for meet-and-greets after so you can ask them how much they enjoy playing. They're not migrant workers who need someone to fight for their fair compensation, they are athletes and fitness models who don't mind getting paid back for their efforts to be in great shape and entertain sports fans.

  • SerialBill

    There are independent women's football leagues that play in full football uniforms all around the country. These are based solely on athletic competition. They usually play on high school fields and get very low attendance. If you prefer this idea you should support it with attendance at your local games. The LFL uniforms cover more than beach volleyball gear, and I doubt anyone was upset when Misty May and Kerry Walsh won Olympic Gold and got sporting goods endorsement deals for which they were photographed in bathing suits. These women dish out and take hits all game, which is what you really notice once you are there; the uniforms are a marketing gimmick no worse than the Ravens Cheerleaders, who are also underpayed.

  • GlenW

    “We do not pay salaries because LFL player are not employees,” said McMillen, referring to the fact that players in the league are considered independent contractors.

    Ah, the Republican/ Libertarian dream. Wonder what a tax attourney might have to say about the girls being “independent contractors”. Is there a Lingere Football services sapce in the yellow pages?

  • Palfl25

    they should be paid more i mean they dont even have pads on their legs i bet they get alot of bruises not that they should have pants with pads because they look good out there for sure but hey mcmillen quit being greedy i bet u make more than they do huh you make sure of that

  • Rockinrobin13

    I’m wondering what happens with health insurance for these women? If they are independent contractors, are they responsible for carrying their own health insurance in case of injury on the field?

  • lamonkey

    “A large bonus” = 3k per player… A player on the championship team is lucky to walk away with 6-8k for the entire season. They would like you to think that players are making 40k, but not even close! Some teams practice 3-4 hours/day for 5 days a week. Because of the practice schedule it is hard (near impossible) for women with full time “real” jobs to play. If you have bills to pay this is not the thing for you!

  • Guest

    If you’re concerned about the NFL lockout, look for an LFL lockout as well. With additional TV contracts with MTV2 and touted as the “fastest growing” league in sports right now, the LFL has decided to NO LONGER pay the players. This will allow the league’s owner Mitchell Mortaza to pocket all proceeds of the league. Additionally, the league has a history of making documented threats to the players, not taking care of injuries and firing coaches who stand up for players. The concept of the league is great, but mismanagement is a HUGE understatement.

  • Guest

    The LFL is what it is. A once in a lifetime opportunity to get global exposure instantly. Most of the players play 1-2 games, at the most, then quit.

    These players DO NOT have careers that last years. Most teams loose half their rosters before the first game. Most will quit after the first game.

    I would be willing to bet a ton of money that says the average total career of an LFL player is actually less than 1 game.

    Its why LA temptations are back to back champions. They have found 4-5 players that have played 5+ games now. And that “Experience” really shows in the win column.

    Yes, The “Bret Favre – Iron men” of the LFL is 5+ games. And to be talking about “Pay” in a league where the average player plays less then a single game seems really silly to me.

    Like I said, the LFL is what it is. A once in a lifetime opportunity to play one hell of a game in front of a global audience. And that’s all it really is.

    As far as the comparison to “Male Football Players”. That simply isn’t really true. They are ONLY comparing to the men in the NFL. And totally fail to make comparisons to all the OTHER mens leagues that don’t sell Billions in tickets and TV.

    The fact is, the LFL players Pay is pretty much in line with every other mens league except the NFL. And the LFL is in no way shape of form comparable to the NFL in any case. To make that comparison is simply idiotic, to say the least.

    And one last thing. Change the damn picture. That picture is San-Diego Seduction vs. the Seattle Mist. Not to even mention that the game in the picture is the Western Conference, and the Charm plays in the eastern Conference.

    How seriously should I take a newspaper article that doesn’t even get the damn team picture right. Hell, doesn’t even get the right conference.

    PS: when you looking for the right picture, The Baltimore Charm color is PURPLE and white and yellow. Not even remotely similar to that picture.

    • Guest

      you know a lot, do you know they make no money this year?

  • Guest

    This is a joke. This is exactly why women dont get the respect they deserve. This is nothing but a bunch of slutty women running around in their underwear trying to get attention. If they wanted to be taken seriously they’d be in full equipment.

    • Mmdandrea

      Jealousy’s a sickness.. Get Well Soon!

      • Anonymous

        So is being a dirty old man who stares  at girls young enough to be their daughters 

        • Guest

          Well, if we didn’t live in such a biased society towards men, women wouldn’t have to show everything they have just to get respect and publicity that they deserve. Women just want to be recognized as the great athletes that they are, it’s quite honestly sad that they have to appeal to men sexually to begin to get that recognition, but it is what it is, and society has made it that way, so get over it or move to a different country because obviously everyone’s complaining and griping about it isn’t doing anything but make you feel better about yourself for “standing up” against someone showing off an amazing body and getting payed the best way they can doing something they love. I’m almost positive that if all circumstances would end up the same if they were completely padded and covered head to toe like NFL players, then they would gladly suit up. and for the comment above this one, did you ever think that maybe the women quit because they realize that not only do they not get the pay that they deserve, but also they see just how uncomfortable it is to be half naked running around in front of thousands of people and they decide it’s not worth it… People are entirely too judgmental, maybe you all should take a look at why you feel the way you do about certain things and I do hope you realize that your nagging and condemnation is not going to stop your boyfriend or husband or whoever from wanting to watch them…. So stop wasting your time and get over it.

    • {GETYOKNOWLEDGEUP}

      well thats your own opinion and perspective that is also negative. Women dont get the respect they deserve because of people like you that perceive them to be all that. 

  • Mnj_russell

    I have a simple question reading some of this.  Have Tom Brady where a pair of shorts adn just sholder pads adn still play FULL CONTACT TACKLE Football.  These women Kick Ass, sure you see a lot fo T*A  but damn, show me an NFL player that would play in shorts and pads.  They wouldn’t do it.

  • SEXYBALLER

    well, here’s a fact. Us women who actually play tackle football IWFL, AFC etc. Don’t get paid. We pay hundreds of dollars to be on the team. For the Love of football. We even pay our own flights and hotel rooms, our own equipment and food for away games. Some of us look just as SEXY and hot as an LFL player and have much more experience.  it is so demeaning and shameful to wear nothing but panties and bras to play what we love just for attention. You’ll see 5-10 yrs IWFL or the AFC will get just as much attention as the LFL does. 

  • Layton Robert

    I watched a few minutes of a game today (before my wife walked into the room).  I was impressed with the women’s athletic ability.  Sharp execution of plays.  Hard tackles and effective blocking.  Even the theatrical celebration activity of “chest bumping” was entertaining. 

  • Guest

    would you still watch if you knew these girls did not get paid?  my friend plays and they told them they couldn’t pay them this year, next year they promised them money.

  • Withrowdustin

    These girls deserve at least double their 40 thousand a year. Not only do they play and hit just like the men, they are smoking hot. I much rather see sexy ladies smacking each others ass the ladder. Keep it up girls, your time will come.

  • Guest

    Women don’t get respected for being athletes and the fact that they have to run around in little undies to get a sport recognized just shows how much people don’t respect women’s as athletes. 

  • Guest

    Women don’t get respected for being athletes and the fact that they have to run around in little undies to get a sport recognized just shows how much people don’t respect women’s as athletes. 

  • Axis773

    Seems like there are o a lot of women who want to impose their values on other women, or profess to speak for them. The women look great. To compare them to the N.F.L. doesn’t make sense. When the N.F.L. started, it was replete with bad deals, underpayed players, greedy owners and poor working conditions. If the argument is for equality to men, then they’ll have to build their brand up, or are only men tough enough to sacrifice for a future for players to come that they don’t even know. The N.H.L. is in jeapardy and asked its players to take drastic cuts for the sake of the league. They did so. A lot of men love this. Supply and demand. What should concern us IS the pay, the working conditions, etc. They work hard, there is nothing phony about the play. (No one talks about wrestling and what they wear. I could go on.) They should be compensated well

  • Urrobot2

    These women are the best, they hit hard and boost the image of women everywhere. They make the NFL look like sissy’s wearing all those pads.  I am now considering calling the NFL the gay football league or GFL, which I haven’t watched in 20 years, come on watching guys pat each other on the back side, not for me;  but I am interested in women and I do like this gimmick. It has my attention. Now I have something to talk about when the guys say whose your favorite team! Sand Diego Seduction bam! Sorry I have to stay regional.

    I’m not sure why they are paid less when they are so much more? Come on guys, these ladies are giving 100% in my book, open your books and give them a fair share of the profits. 

    • eaglesfanatic215

      I hear where you’re going with that but its a bit hyperbolic.  NFL players make much more because they draw millions of viewers, huge TV contracts, endorsements, etc. that enables their league to be a multi-billion dollar corporation.  I know a girl who plays in the LFL for the Philadelphia Passion and she told me they make nothing (she does have two other jobs) and I agree that’s not right.  But if they’re really making $40K on average with added incentives, that’s pretty fair for what you so accurately called a “gimmick”.  I guess guys are committing suicide due to mental issues and having broken down bodies with serious chronic injuries and conditions for the rest of their lives because its a “sissy league” though.  Let one of these scantily clad 115 lb cuties tackle you and then have James Harrison or Ray Lewis put you on your ass and tell me if you still feel that way. 

  • My Sense

    The American Professional Football Association was formed on September 17, 1920 and included ten teams from four different states. The First AFL-NFL World Championship Game, later known as Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967. The Green Bay Packers were each paid a salary of $15,000 as the winning team. The Chiefs were paid $7,500 each. Give it some time before these ladies get paid as much as Lewis or Brady. Have to have everything yesterday, don’t you? Impatient asses.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/P6HUD5BYEHUWHWJV7Q7WVVHXJA SEC fan

    Seem like fair compensation to me…    Get more attendance, and get paid more

  • Gerald Neily

    The Brew’s 2010 lingerie football story has LEGS !!!!!! Take that, “elite” Joe Flacco…

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