In a few weeks school will be starting and fall sports will be in full force and along with all that, cheerleaders will be gathering their pompoms ready to do their thing too. What is cheerleading anyway? Is it a sport or just a few hot girls getting together in an organized way to urge their team to win a game? I know there are very serious competitions that involve gymnastics as well as the usual chanting and jumping around. Men and women participate in cheerleading. Then why when a girl gets to the top of her cheerleading game and is chosen to be a National Football League Cheerleader they get paid next to nothing?
In recent months some of the cheerleaders have had the courage to revolt against some of the teams they work for. You would think those beautiful women in great uniforms would be getting paid well jut for the positive moral they are sharing to the game. Instead they are revealing the shockingly low pay and the humiliating rituals they are told to do. They are the most glamorous women in sports; beautiful and talented and in the limelight. Their smiling faces and long legs are the staple for the most popular and wealthy sports league on earth. The NFL doesn’t pay any taxes because they are considered a club yet they take in billions of dollars every season. Why are they treating their girls so badly?
Young girls grow up around the country wanting to be them. Grown women strive to join them. There are tryout auditions to join NFL Cheer leading teams every year. There are the famous Oakland Raiderettes, The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders that are the inspiration for any little girl cheerleader. When they finally get the contract to be on one of these famous teams, being able to be one of football’s fabulous females they find that they are getting paid next to nothing. Every team spends about 125 Million dollars on their players per year. In the 2013 Raiderette Agreement the girls were told that they would receive just $125.00 per game and that is the good news. Every other cost is consumed by them. This is even hard to believe but it is true.
The girls get paid zero dollars for practices, photo shoots, team meetings and workouts. Yet 3 practices per week are required, 10 home games per year and 9 months of photo shoots, workouts and costume fittings. That is 350 total hours of work all in exchange for little more than One thousand dollars and even that money can disappear almost entirely once the women are done paying their own expenses. Put those pompon's down little girl you will NOT be a cheerleader when you grow up. Tell that to your daughters pumped up football dads. The NFL really does have big balls!
They require they buy their own hosiery and fake eyelashes which they require as part of their uniform. They buy their own makeup and tanning salons. These girls are better off selling beer and hot dogs in the concession stands and earn more money than being a professional cheerleader. The fact that there are lots of girls that just want to hop around on a professional football field does not make their pay scale and treatment to be so poor. These girls don’t even get paid for their home games. They pay for their $650 uniforms on the Buffalo Bills Buffalo Jills team. They are also subjected to wacky tests that are sexist in nature. Like performing jumping jacks to see their body parts jiggle.
Different parts of their bodies are constantly being evaluated. There are glamor requirements in their contracts. Even tampon requirements when on their period. This is outrageous! What does such personal hygiene have anything to do with cheer leading? Why do the girls allow a league to assert such control over them while the male players get paid millions of dollars and quite often don’t act in an ethical way on or off the field? They are even required to do much more than cheer leading like make free appearances at golf fundraisers. Girls admit to being touched and grouped. It is time that at least women’s rights litigators intervene here if they do not negotiate valid and real contracts giving them a decent wage and not just minimum wages.