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Have you heard about the Women’s Football League Association yet? They’re the first-ever professional full-tackle women’s football league in the country, and by 2021 we can expect to see them here in the Magic City, in the form of The Birmingham Bombshells. I spoke with Birmingham Bombshells’ part-owner Peggy Bonfield to get the inside scoop.
But first, before we get started, this piece is not about the Alabama Fire, which we wrote about in 2019. Different team, different league. Now:
LA-based SHE Beverage is behind the Women’s Football League Association
SHE Beverage, a celebrity-driven beverage company that’s also an LA-based woman / minority-owned business, is the maker of She Beer, “the Queen of Beers” and many other beverages.
Led by the visionary Lupe Rose, SHE Beverage is starting the Women’s Football League as one of several ventures.
The League has two main goals:
- Empower women with fair pay, health insurance, and the opportunity to play full-tackle football. According to the league’s website, “SHE & The WFLA intends to pay all female athletic recruits wages consistent with male athletes of the same sport and skill level.” 🙌🏽
- Create a celebrity-entertainment-driven professional football league.
In fact, rapper Ja Rule is one of the owners of the League.
“The WFLA is designed to create the largest and most competitive Women’s Professional Full-Tackle Football League in the world. Women’s tackle football teams and leagues have been in existence for over four decades, but the most promising growth in the sport—both in the number of teams and in the level of competition—has taken place over the last five years. However, The WFLA introduces the first-ever Professional Football League for Women, fighting for Women’s Equality, and gains recognition in its fight with introducing the only Women’s Pro Football League.”Women’s Football League Association website
The WFLA also plans to partner and/or buy or build stadiums across the US dedicated to the WFLA. No small feat. Each stadium would have a suite carrying many of SHE Beverage’s products plus team merchandise.
Here’s what WFLA games, including the Birmingham Bombshells, will look like
Fans can expect 12-minute quarters and 20-minute halftimes with high-end entertainment. Games will be full tackle, but no helmet-to-helmet contact. Helmet to helmet will be grounds for immediate and full dismissal from the league.
Teams can have 55 players on their roster, plus a 5-player practice squad. The WFLA will have 32 teams, for a total of 1920 players.
Debra Antney is an Atlanta-based music promoter and developer of talent such as her son, rapper Waka Flocka, and Nicki Minaj. She’s the owner of the Atlanta team. Meaning, expect the entertainment to be amazing.
The League is planning for a fall 2021 start. The All-Star Game Tour will follow with 10 games and entertainment with playoffs and championship games, culminating in the Diamond Bowl.
Women’s Wednesday Night Football will be the WFLA’s Notable Football Night.
And now, for The Birmingham Bombshells
It’s a little too early to share too many details about our team yet, but when I spoke with part-owner Peggy Bonfield, her excitement was palpable. Years ago, she was the State of Alabama Small Business Administration Advocate for Women and has had a passion for empowering women her entire life. All of a sudden, at the WFLA’s draft in Las Vegas last year, she realized she could empower more women in one snap of her fingers with this team than anything she’d done before.
“These women are gonna play—they love it. We can offer them competitive salaries, health insurance, have them be part of a community, give them respect . . . it’s really big for these women. For the future, we’re working to build something that girls and younger women can look forward to being a part of. It’s gonna be fabulous.”Peggy Bonfield