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Former Cowboys Cheerleader Files Lawsuit Against Team

Former Cowboys Cheerleader Files Lawsuit Against Team


THE DECISION SOME SAY NOW PUTS FAMILIES AT RISK. BUT FIRST. THE PRESTIGE, THAT IS GREAT. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, THAT PRESTIGE DOESN’T PAY THE BILLS. OR PAY THE RENT. SHE IS TAKING ON AMERICA’S TEAM. A FORMER CHEERLEADER FILES A FEDERAL LAWSUIT AGAINST THE DALLAS COWBOYS SAYING CHEERLEADERS ARE PAID FOR ALL OF THOSE HOURS THEY WORK. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. WE SAT DOWN WITH THAT FORMER CHEERLEADER THIS AFTERNOON. SHE IS LIVE IN OUR DALLAS TOWER WITH THE REST OF THE STORY. ROBBIE. Reporter: ERIKA WILKINS ADMITS THAT SHE WAS AND WASN’T PREPARED FOR THE REACTION TO THIS LAWSUIT. NEEDLESS TO SAY SHE HAS STOPPED READING THE SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENTS. SHE TOLD ME IT IS HER FAITH THAT HAS HER CONVINCED THIS IS A FIGHT WORTH FIGHTING. AND EVEN TAKING ON A BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY BECAUSE SHE SAYS IT’S ABOUT FANS. THERE REALLY IS NO FEELING LIKE IT WHEN THEY ANNOUNCE THAT YOU ARE A DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADER. Reporter: BUT ERIKA WILKINS SAYS THE STAR DUST BEGAN TO FADE UNDER THE HARSH REALITY OF DOLLARS AND CENTS. $8 AN HOUR IN FACT FOR THE WOMEN CHEERING ON AMERICA’S TEAM. THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE ENDORSEMENT DEALS? AND I’M GOING THAT IS NOT TRUE. THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. WE’RE NOT ALLOWED TO GET ENDORSEMENTS LIKE THE PLAYERS. Reporter: WILKINS SAYS AN INJURY ENDED HER CHEER LEADING CAREER LAST YEAR AND NOW SHE HAS FILED A FEDERAL LAWSUIT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. AGAIN NOBODY IS ASKING TO GET RICH, THEY JUST WANT TO GET PAID FAIR. Reporter: THE LAWSUIT ACCUSES THE COWBOYS OF NOT PAYING CHEERLEADERS FOR ALL OF THE HOURS WORKED AND NOT PAYING OVERTIME. THEY GOT THIS MASCOT THAT MAKES $65,000 A YEAR. I’M OPTIMISTIC THE COWBOYS WANT TO BE A PART OF THAT CHANGE. CHANGE THE INDUSTRY TO WHERE THESE HARD WORKING WOMEN, PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES ARE PAID A FAIR DAYS PAY FOR FAIR DAYS WORK. Reporter: SHE DECLINED THE COWBOYS OFFER TO PAY HER THE BACK BAY. I’M NOT DOING THIS FOR THE MONEY. I’M NOT DOING THIS TO GET RICH. I’M DOING THIS TO HELP MAKE A CHANGE. Reporter: WE REACHED OUT TO THE COWBOY’S ORGANIZATION, SO

100 thoughts on “Former Cowboys Cheerleader Files Lawsuit Against Team”

  1. 8 an hour is not enough to get by… obviously. One thing, however, is that they know the hourly pay of their work before accepting the job. They think "Oh, 8 an hour is fine!" But then, once they start actually cheering and working, they complain because it's simply not enough. Yet, they put themselves in that position KNOWING how much the pay would be. I love the Cowboys Cheerleaders, don't get me wrong. It just seems odd to get mad over something YOU KNEW ABOUT FROM THE BEGINNING!!

  2. Woman gets paid exactly what she agrees to… Sues for unfair treatment.

    I agree that the DCC chicks aren't paid enough and they should negotiate a raise for all members going forward, but that's a negotiation, not a lawsuit and past cheerleaders have no stake in it. This is business not marriage! Women have come to expect money after they leave a marriage, now they want more money after leaving a job.

    This should be thrown out in about 10 seconds, but it won't be.

  3. This isn’t a career it’s just a side hobby, yes $8 is not enough but all these other women have other jobs this is a hobby

  4. I'm rather surprised by the condescension apparent in the comments so far. The cheerleaders are just as much a part of the NFL and the NFL experience as the football players. Many have spent years in dance training and they are right there on the field performing throughout the entire football game.

    The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, at least, are held to a high standard of conduct and act much better in public than many of the players. The players get multimillion dollar contracts and endorsements, and the cheerleaders can't even get paid a decent wage? They aren't asking for million dollar contracts – just enough money to cover practicing several hours a week, appearances all over the world, and game duties. Seems very reasonable to me and, for a billion dollar organization, should be an expectation. For the organization to offer to pay her for her unpaid time shows they know there's an issue.

    It's time to stop "enjoying" the cheerleaders' performances while looking down your noses at them. It takes a courageous individual to stand up against the tide of apathy and tradition to fight for something better for future generations. Erica, good for you.

  5. That’s Poverty Level Pay. Fast Food workers get paid more. Are they on Medicaid and Food Stamps too? They can’t live on $8.50/hr! It’s 2018! That’s just disgusting!

  6. $8 AN hour???? ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME>???? for ALL the WORK ( not to mention the blood, sweat and tears, the emotional toll it takes constantly being told you have to BE PERFECT!!!)..this is a LOAD of horse SHIZZNIT SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DEEP, I need thigh-high manure boots!!! I have developed an AMAZING AMOUNT OF RESPECT for these ladies over the years. SHAMEFUL..ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL JERRY JONES AND THE CHARLOTTE, AND KELLY FINGLASS AND JUDY!!!! HOW DARE Y'ALL HAVE THE UNMITIGATED GALL TO PAY YOUR "PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE" CHEERLEADERS (YOUR WORDS, NOT MINE) 8 LOUSY BUCKS AN HOUR//Y'ALL ARE JUST DISGRACEFUL AS AN ORGANIZATION!!!!!

  7. I agree these women should get paid more cause they do a lot of work. HOWEVER, it is a hobby not a long term career. It has been made clear they have to have a full-time job or go to school. They also SIGNED the contract knowing what they are going to get and what is expected of them. If you do not agree with the terms then do not sign up for this.

  8. It's about damn time!! That mother fucker Jones is making millions off these girls. They are as popular as the players and they don't get paid shit! Jones should be ashamed of himself. All these ladies should be rich for what they bring to the organization and the money they make from the tv show. Makes me sick..go Erica!

  9. They tell you to get a job because they don't pay that much so don't depend on that it says so in the application

  10. They forgot to mention the fact that Erica got kicked off the team for breaking the rules last season. Doesn't make her look good coming after them for money now.

  11. Umm, just wanted to mention – these cheerleaders are not paid for – costume maintenance, gym fees, workouts, practices, all non-stadium related appearances. The calendar fees go to the team, endorsements are paid to the team, the girls can't accept money for appearing in the team uniforms given.

    Alot of the cheerleaders these days are owned by the team – they are required to 1) Have a day job in the area, 2) Be available for all team related appearances (despite the day job). And here's a big one – many don't have medical insurance to cover the injuries sustained while a cheerleader.

    As to Rowdy being brought into the story. Its just an example.

  12. She disgusts me. You knew what it was all about before you tried out. And you stuck with it for a few years. Just trying to get rich quick.

  13. What SHE is saying is that the cheerleaders should not HAVE to also work a full time job as they still have obligations, rehearsals, games, etc. and its time to recognize.

  14. its Texas its a Republican state, Rebublicans are all about exploiting women and paying them low, what do you expect?

  15. Erica was an excellent dancer. That company can afford to pay these girls more, its insane. I hope she wins her lawsuit. The pay needs to be higher.

  16. Most of the Cheerleaders have full time jobs in addition to their cheering responsibilities. They also have different groups of teams and I wonder if there is additional compensation for participating in those as it takes more time committment along with a lot of additional travel. They don't go thorugh the grueling training, selection process, practices and performance expecting to get paid….but for the noteriety and to get 'noticed' (Kind of like Melissa Rycroft) and launch a career in a different industry. I'm kind of torn on this lawsuit. If they are getting more than the minimum wage then the only real complaint is not getting paid for hours worked or OT…that may actually have some bite .

  17. GIven the Cowboy's are a multi-BILLION dollar organization, these ladies should be given more. Hell, the Home Depot in my neck of the woods starts you out at $15 per hour. I say double their rate to $16 per hour. And we all know the Cowboys organization can afford this increase too. Afterall, look at the $$$ they make off these cheerleaders from the swimsuit calendar, paid publicity events, etc. Yep — $16 an hour !!!

  18. These women sign up for auditions, sign disclosures prior to be on the team outlining what the job description is. Now they want to complain? What's next complain the keli finglass is too harsh and bruise their egos?

  19. NFL cheerleading cannot be classed as a hobby if the cheerleaders are always expected to put the team first.

  20. This is outrageous. It's people like this that are destroying Society. I didn't know that they got paid at all. I thought it was a volunteer extracurricular activity that people want to do to support their community and get the notoriety that comes with being good enough to make this team. It's every girl's dream practically. Here's another thing. All of the conditions of employment including the rate of pay and everything else that she's upset about is outlined an emphasized to every potential cheerleader. She knew what she was getting into and if she didn't like the pay and wanted to work a job that pays for the extra hours that it takes for each cheerleader to be able to perfect their routine then she should have gone somewhere else that offered that or taking a different job altogether.This is exactly like if I was hiring a group of cheerleaders to promote my trucking business that I have. Let's just pretend that they would be cheerleading in commercials and things like that. It's their responsibility to learn the routine so if they need to work extra hours so they don't look like morons and lagging behind everyone else and that's just what they have to do. My contract outlines that I'm not paying for the learning curve. My contract also indicates the rate of hourly pay. At that point if the person didn't like it they could walk away. Don't take the damn job and then come back and sue me later LOL. People are gross. She's trying to put God into this like God told her to be so sickening? No one pulled the wool over her eyes. Did she just not read the contract and was completely shocked when she got her first paycheck? Did she really think she was going to get paid extra for having to spend extra time to learn? If she doesn't want it there is a thousand or more women dressed as good that what her place on that team. If you don't like the stipulations of the contract don't enter into it in the first place

  21. America's sweethearts? And this is how they are treated? This is absolutely disgustingly little, insulting, degrading….. You really think the choreographers, and seamstress, and hair dressers make 8 hour? Dallas Cowboys are cheap….

  22. These cheerleaders give up much of their days and nights, DCC should pay for all hours worked, overtime after 40 hours, too.Texas system of low wages should end.

  23. All pretty sick. They are basically paid minimum wage, weighed daily, evaluated on how their hair looks — why would anyone even WANT to do this?

  24. They knew yes I am not disagreeing.. but come on they make it sound so fabulous and you are so excited to be chosen. Then reality sets in, you have to be on time for all practices and games. Not to mention traveling, they should be paid for overtime. That’s what any other job would do. And the minimum wage has increased in all states. So that means their wage should increase. Over time pay is due to all of them. And you should get raises every year you are on the team. I mean even after you are chosen you still have to audition to make the team again. Just like regular jobs you get raises.. and the women should also be aloud to take endorsement offers along with the team approval..

  25. Wow! After reading all the comments, I see that people don't think the cheerleaders are worth a dime. I wonder how they even got any pay at all. Oh yea, a law was passed. These comments are unbelievable.

  26. The cheerleaders are exploited! They need to stop continuing to take it! The teams talk about the girls being 'professionals', well they should be paid as professionals!! They have to 'act' a certain way & be role models, etc, yet they have them striving to do calender photo shoots in bikinis that will probably for the most part be glared at by men who are not looking at them thinking 'oh what lovely, wholesome young ladies'! I have no problem with such things (if this is what somebody wants to do), it's just that I find the way they are treated, the expectation's, along with what they have to do very contradictory (not just calendar shoot, this is just 1 example)! Pro Cheerleaders will continue to be paid so little and be exploited as long as there are girls who are fed how 'amazing it is' & who therefore are prepared to accept what they are told they worth! Yes they may know what the pay is going in but the change needs to start somewhere….just saying 'it's ok as they are aware of the pay going in' is not good enough really & just accepting it will mean this will continue for future generations (not only nfl cheerleading….there is a much bigger picture to all of this)!

    I think it all reflects badly on the people at the top of the industry, it shows they do not have respect for everybody in their organisation which is highlighted by such exploitations & inequalities, (otherwise wouldn't they want every person to be at the very least paid fairly/adequately!?).

  27. Well, Morgan deserves to get her FAIR SHARE of her years worth Why? Well, She respectfully EARNED it and I DISLIKE this because Women aren't getting the same rights that us Men have.

    ⏩Morgan and every other Former NFL Team Cheerleader deserves the same treatment.

  28. Morgan, You go, Girl, You set the Bar High and made other cheerleaders AWARE of these Team organizations getting paid their fair share when they EARNED it. GOD BLESS YOU

    ▶Phillipians 4:13 IT IS WRITTEN, "I CAN Do ALL Things through Christ who strengtheneth me"

    ▶Isaiah 54:17, IT IS WRITTEN, "NO WEAPONS formed against us shall prosper and EVERY Tongue that shall rise up against us thou shall CONDEMN it; This is the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is of me"

    ▶2 Corinthians 10:4, IT IS WRITTEN, "For the weapons of our warfare are NOT CARNAL but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds"

    ▶2 Corinthians 4:4, IT IS WRITTEN, "Whom The god of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that BELIEVE NOT; Lest the Glorious Gospel of Christ who is the Image of God shall shine upon them"

  29. Cheerleaders put a lot of time and effort into their performances and deserve to be paid fairly for that. While Erica did have an injury, she was actually dismissed from the team. While injured, for insurance purposes, she was to stay in the locker room during game time. She changed out of her uniform, went up into the stands and took a selfie of herself drinking a beer – then returned to the locker room, redressed and pretended to have been there the entire time. Well, of course someone saw the photo and as she had violated the rules, she was fired. Only after that did she file this lawsuit. Apparently she was perfectly content until then.

  30. The NFL has had its dirty secrets for a long time, they are now just being uncovered. Cheerleaders should make a decent wage.

  31. The Cowboys organization won't respond to this. They follow what the Royal Family does in situations like this – say nothing.

  32. What a bunch of crap.. you signed up for this under your agreement with the DCC.. good luck with that "lawsuit".. maybe I can make my employer pay me more too if I cry hard enough!

  33. What about the free exposure you are getting via tv? At any given time, one of you cheerleaders can get noticed by a modeling agency or producer!

  34. It's waaay past time that these ladies get compensated appropriately for every appearance, personal expenses, wages lost from their regular jobs and much, much more. These ladies work extremely hard to know their dances, routines, and learn new ones every week ! Their training to stay in the required size and shape is a continuous and ongoing process. The suit is long passed due !!

  35. I totally stand with her. They are a BILLION dollar franchise and these girls are a HUGE part of it. I almost wish the cheerleaders would go on strike and demand a fair salary. They deserve it.

  36. Oh yeah,,and when I broke up with her, I swear to god, she looks at me and goes….bummer!!! Lol g9d what a dumb chick she was

  37. cheerleaders are expendable. mascots make more because it's harder to be a mascot. plus you get more years out of a mascot. a cheerleader can give you 5yrs at most a mascot can give you 10 + years, no one wants to see a 35yr old cheerleader. I agree maybe a better pay scale that's more fair and balanced can be set in place. but cheerleading isn't a career because you can only do it for so long. people come to the games to see the players play the game and not for the cheerleaders. when cheerleaders bring in the revenue that players do then you'll receive equal pay.

  38. This seems like attention seeking behavior. Everything was fine until she was no longer on the team sharing the spotlight; when the spotlight left she was suddenly exploited.

  39. Cheerleaders have never gotten paid that much money!!! Ever, but u know this going in its not like it's a surprise..
    If u want higher pay get a better job.. I'm just saying.. Frivolous lawsuit, it's not like u were blindsided!!
    Bye

  40. I googled their salary after watching an episode of the show about them and I was disgusted with how low they pay! This is not excusable! I'm so grateful she is brave enough to do something about it!

  41. $8 an hour? They’re fucking professionals! I’m damn sure Kelli and Judy get paid much, much more. I’m all in for this lawsuit since that team makes shitloads of money like every other franchise. Pay your cheerleaders more!

  42. IM SORRY. I had to REWIND………DID she say these WOMEN on this "oh so GRAND" TEAM that girls actually break their necks to be on, would push their competition into moving traffic and starve themselves weeks before the actual auditions ARE GETTING PAID LESS THAN 9 FKN DOLLARS an hour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???? My little sister is a 2nd year vet for the Cleveland Monster Hockey girls and gets paid $12.00 an hr so WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FK is the Dallas Cheerleading Organization doing? They actually built an entire fkn DANCE CENTER for the girls to do their dance camp at so I don't want to hear that they don't have the money.

  43. These women are a few extremely talented women and what they go through is absolutely grueling to say the least. It's a shame how low they get paid is astonishing! They need to increase the pay for these elite cheerleaders. It is such a huge honor to represent this team but by the same token if it weren't for these talented girls there wouldn't be a team. I hope the Dallas Cowboy organization does the right thing and pay these ladies for they are worth which is allot more than what they're getting paid, chump change!

  44. Those girls have a brief window with that outfit. As rich as the organization is they should be ashamed. The squad goes through a lot of time to work out routines while most of the crowd only sees them as ants from their view in the stadium. NO the big screen is not the same. Typical Texas bullshit.

  45. OH DEAR GOD ERIKA………YOU TWAT………..BEING A DCC ISN'T A JOB..its a privilege if you are GOOD ENOUGH to do it. Most are not….its like a fun hobby……its not a 9-5 job with benefits and tax issues..grow up little girl

  46. I understand why she did it, but you are told from the beginning that it's not a full-time job, and every cheerleader is encouraged to have a part-time job, full-time job, or be a college student before getting involved with the organization. This is literally on the website with information about auditions. She knew they weren't going to compensate her well before she signed on, and if she didn't then she didn't look into the description very well.

  47. hey YOU DALLAS-COW-BITCH cheerleader HO. EVEN PRO cheerleading is still about BOOTY–CALLS and ONE–NITE-STANDS. LMAO hahahahahha !!!

  48. I don't understand why the women work so hard making their body look so good to work for that kind of money why don't they walk out and go be a super model

  49. If you don't like the hourly wage, then dont apply. Go work some where else. Can someone sue McDonalds restaurant for low wages? Spare me.

  50. I dont see how they can be paid 8$ an hour, and be expected to have another job, and you will find the low pay will go hand in hand with other remuneration promises not being fulfilled. Their risk of injury would be high during training, who carries this risk? I would say that beautiful women should boycot cheerleading for these teams, so that they will be left to choose from planer women desperate for minimum wage work. a lot of men go to these games to watch the chearleaders, it will most certainly lead to a reduction in support.

  51. As long as girls are going to be lining up for auditions to become a DCC (supply>demand), the organization will keep exploiting them. Miss Erika Leigh probably knew how much she was going to be paid since she was on the season 9 of DCC-Making the team, so she has probably seen/heard/researched what's it like to be a DCC and knew fully well what she was going into. I'm not saying it's fair that they are paid so little, it's actually shocking and cruel, just like the fact that they don't get insurance (which a lot of less demanding jobs provide, not to mention they are earning money with their bodies and there is a constant risk of injuries), but the logic of the market is that as long as there is too much supply over the demand, the prices will get lower and lower and the same goes for this organization: Because so many girls would do almost anything to become a DCC, they have absolutely no negotiation power when it comes to their wage, unless of course the state interferes. But from the viewpoint of the organization: they know they can replace as fast as snapping their fingers (because girls are desperate to become a DCC), they feel like the girls are privileged enough to even be a part of the team and that should be automatically enough, even though that doesn't buy them food or give them a roof over their head.

  52. Bad Cowboys did Her like that. Honey, I feel your Pain and if you ever see this video with my comment here, I Welcome you to Model for my Company Sweet Heart. Cowboys Cheerleaders, it Sucks because they are not allowed by Jerry Jones to get offers like I have here for her. That's what Compltly Sucks as a Cowboys Cheerleaders. What Sucks Even more is on cowboys website barring any offers they may receive. Being Paid $8.00 an Hour is not good. While Male Athletes and career politicians get Paid Millions. It makes the Cheerleader here look innocent because she's not a Gold Digger but yet look who gets paid Millions. She Deserves Better Pay and I Can Pay her better Per Hour than The Cowboys Did. That's My issue with Alabama University for Female Athletes they to cannot receive or talk to or about any offers for Example Mine on YouTube or Email because they are Contracted Out. Being a Cowboys Cheerleader or Alabama Cheerleader that's Free is same as McDonald's Minimum Wage. And That's My Bottom Line, Because Awful Said So.

  53. These cheerleaders are absolutely exploited. Yes, they understood going in that many expenses fall on them, but as mentioned, the mascot gets paid more than they do, and I hardly think he'd be missed like they would if gone. It's high time things change and these hard working, athletic, professional, college educated women get rightly compensated.

  54. She is not going to win she is dealing with the freaking highest paid team and Company she is definitely going to lose I don’t even know why she even wants to do that

  55. Really 8 dollars an hour , that's BS at its best. They should be at least 100,000 a year and when the team wins a super bowl ring the cheer leaders should get a super bowl necklace . fair is fair , they work hard to be the best , and they are a big part of the team

  56. Suing the rich is suicide they will have her in court for years or till she goes completely broke you will lose this the harsh reality wwe dares their stars to lawsuit she should've took cowboys 1st offer and why would trying a lawsuit against against the super rich franchise this story is dead that's why the cowboys never responded

  57. Good for her! Seems like it’s not fair. Those women are professional athletes and compensation should be fair.

  58. Getting paid $8.00 HR, I'm suing to get rich I think that's fair but however let's wait until dak, Cooper, and Zeke get there contract extension I wish her the best, Jerry Jones gets no sympathy from me he signs the check

  59. It is embarrassing how these gals do not get paid properly.
    They sure demand the world from these ladies but sure as hell don't return the favor!

  60. 🤔Ummmmmmmm………..you're a cheerleader. If you wanted to get paid to be a doctor, a lawyer, or microbiologist you should have went to school & became one.

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