Oct 20, 2011, 3:28 PM EDT
The Lingerie Football League’s big Canadian experiment is not going well, eh. The Toronto Star reported today that 22 of 26 players for the Toronto Triumph — the only LFL franchise in Canada — have quit the team, apparently in a dispute over four players who were cut, and defensive coach who was let go.
Krista Ford, the niece of Toronto mayor Rob Ford and the highest-profile player on the team, is one of those who walked out.
Hey everyone! I am really sad to let you all know that I have left the Toronto Triumph, along with many of my teammates. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make thus far, however, I had to stand up for what I felt was right. Unfortunately, it cost me the greatest sport in the world. “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” – Malcolm X (Wednesday, 2:27 p.m.)
I wouldn’t be anywhere without my girls. The dedication and sacrifices these ladies have made day in and day out inspires me to become a better person, athlete, and friend. I’ve been playing variations of this sport for 5 years, dreaming of playing it for 10 years, and watching it for 20. I’ve learned so much in my short time with the LFL, and I do not regret it for one second! Despite being a football junkie, when anyone of my teammates is in risk of serious injury due to the lack of proper coaching, it is time to stand up. Unfortunately, our voice as a team was ignored. I pray for the safety and health of every athlete, including my former teammates despite going our separate ways. [Wednesday, 9:45 p.m.)
This all happened a few hours after the Tampa Breeze beat Toronto, 48-14, in the latter's league home opener.
The LFL, which added three U.S. franchises this season, is scheduled for a big Canadian expansion in 2012, with teams in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Quebec City and Montreal. This may throw all of that in doubt, however, according to an excellent piece in Canadian football blog The 55-Yard-Line.
What triggered the mass walkout with Toronto seems to be when the team fired assistant coach Sebastian Clovis, a former Saskatchewan Roughriders' and B.C. Lions' defensive back who, say many players, was the only coach on the team who had any real football experience. That set off an email exchange between a Toronto player and LFL commissioner Mitch Mortaza.
At any rate, Mortaza vows that the Toronto franchise will continue, and to that end the team will begin tryouts next week to replace the departed players.
LFL: 22 Toronto players quit, comments show league’s disarray [55 Yard Line]
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