The brand-new Mexican women’s league, Liga MX Femenil, is set to debut on Friday, July 28, but a shocking report could derail the endeavor before it even begins. Mexican newspaper La Jornada talked to an anonymous player source, who spoke about the new league’s contracts, specifically certain clauses that appear to be in conflict with Mexico’s labor laws. Among the claims made by the player are that the league is forbidding its players from getting pregnant, lest their contracts be terminated on the spot, without access to medical help as required of employers by law.
Additionally, La Jornada states that there is a ban on homosexuality, using scathing language to expose Liga MX Femenil’s alleged hypocrisy: “To the outside world, they dress up as anti-homophobia crusaders, but internally, they don’t want lesbians and have given clear instructions to the 16 female teams to hide any case of homosexuality.” The unnamed player backs up the paper’s claim, saying that “the instruction is to shut up. Nothing makes it to the outside world.”
As a byproduct of the ban and termination threats that come with the reported pregnancy clause, La Jornada states that Liga MX Femenil did not bring in foreign players in order to avoid potential conflicts and pushback: “This explains why they refused to bring in foreigners, they don’t want trouble, because, for example, the United States leagues give out all sorts of benefits to its players.”
So much is the disdain for womanhood and how players choose to express it that, according to La Jornada’s player source, the league is imposing unofficial conduct restrictions on its members, warning them to not show public displays of “excessive affection. They should also not seem too masculine; that is to say, warriors on the field, totally feminine outside…they want us from another galaxy!”
Despite what appears to be both moral and legal violations, Liga MX Femenil is said to be imposing all of these restrictions and clauses in search of the one true result: profit. That would also help explain the abnormally low salary cap of 2,500 Mexican pesos per month (roughly $140). What should have been an exciting proposition–a women’s league in a soccer-crazy country, backed by that same country’s powerhouse men’s league–has instead turned into a no-win situation for its players: refuse to sign the contracts and lose out on the possible exposure, or play under Draconian clauses that ban basic human rights and restrict potential future earnings.