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The Dark Side Of NFL Cheerleading

The Dark Side Of NFL Cheerleading


The life of an NFL cheerleader looks extremely
fun and glamorous. But the actual realities of the job are problematic
to say the least. Here are a few reasons why life in a football
cheer squad is anything but charmed. “They intimidate you into silence, but I mean you wanna be a cheerleader. It’s the best job in the world.” Professional sports are incredibly cutthroat. The talent pool for NFL cheerleaders is just
as vast as it is for players, and getting selected is just as competitive. “We work so hard for years, just for one audition.” As of 2018, Sportster reported that only 26
of the league’s 32 teams had cheerleading squads, and for those precious few positions,
hundreds of women in each team’s metropolitan area audition, according to GQ. “I can tell in five or ten seconds if somebody
is right for the job on their jazz walk.” Former Pats cheerleader Patty Darrah told
Global News, “They’re not even paid for quite a bit of
the work that they do.” Beginning in 2014, the LA Times reported that
several NFL cheerleaders had filed huge lawsuits against their teams and the league claiming
illegal payment practices such as “wage theft.” According to Mother Jones, a suit filed by
the Oakland Raiderettes claimed cheerleaders raked in just $125 a game, and that’s on the
high end. According to the outlet, the Cincinnati Ben-Gals
were reportedly paid $90 per game, Tampa Bay’s cheerleaders earned $100, and the Buffalo
Jills got a free game ticket and a parking pass. Just for the record, Bloomberg reported the
average per-game salary of an NFL player around that time was almost $200,000. “I used to be a Cincinnati Ben-Gal, but I
was paid more being a dancing cupcake than an NFL cheerleader.” Worked out to an hourly wage, cheerleaders
were making way below the legal minimum. So how did teams skirt the law? They reportedly classified cheerleaders as
“independent contractors” rather than team employees. After the Raiderettes’ suit was filed, the
Raiders upped cheerleader pay to a barely-legal nine bucks an hour. It took California governor Jerry Brown to
ensure that professional sports cheerleaders in California were guaranteed minimum wage,
workers’ comp, and basic benefits. While many squad members make around $100
per game, uniforms are reportedly not provided. Instead, they must be purchased by the cheerleaders
from their teams. According to NBC News, those skimpy uniforms
would cost a Buffalo Bills cheerleader about $650, and if a uniform suffers even the tiniest
bit of damage, the luckless lady may have to pony up for a new one. ESPN reported that a Raiderette had to cough
up the cash for a replacement uniform after getting an ink stain on her top at an autograph-signing
event. Cheerleaders are almost universally expected
to rock a certain “look.” But let’s be honest: looking “like a cheerleader”
means being conventionally attractive, and for the NFL, that means being thin. “What’s most important, definitely nutrition
and fitness, and then just don’t sleep on the importance of your appearance.” According to a former NFL cheerleader’s anonymous
account of her job, slim figures are enforced with weigh-ins before games. She told Cosmo, The realities of work were allegedly even
worse for the Buffalo Jills, the Buffalo Bills’ former cheerleaders. According to the New York Post and “Alyssa
U.,” a Buffalo Jill from 2012 to 2013, cheerleaders were forced to undergo a so-called “physique
evaluation.” She told HBO Sports, “You have to perform 10 jumping jacks, and
that’s what was called the jiggle test, so they could see if any parts of your body were
jiggling.” Former cheer teammate, Maria, claimed the
dehumanizing workplace exercise also had real consequences. “You failed a jiggle test?” “I did. I was devastated, I started crying. You’re very emotional because that’s what
you work so hard for is to cheer at these games.” Not only do cheerleaders have to keep their
appearance in company-mandated condition, but some are required to conduct their personal
lives just as primly. Deadspin reported that the behaviors the Buffalo
Jills were told to follow included: Don’t use slang, don’t swear, “do not be overly
opinionated,” don’t flirt, don’t dominate conversations, don’t gossip, avoid any and
all innuendo, and don’t burp or sneeze without saying “excuse me.” According to the LA Times, the Oakland Raiderettes
signed a contract promising they’d never wear curlers on their way to the stadium or chew
gum. And while a large part of an NFL cheerleader’s
job involves dancing in revealing outfits, some teams prohibit their cheerleaders from
doing anything risqué on social media. In 2018, New Orleans Saintsations cheerleader,
Bailey Davis, was fired after posting a privacy-locked photo on Instagram in a flattering one-piece. “This is a sanctioned photo. Which one do you think shows more skin?” “I think the one on the left and they actually
picked out that swimsuit for me.” Davis sued the team, which also reportedly
tells its cheer squad to not even eat in the same restaurants as its players. “What it’s gonna take is a team of women that
are gonna stand up together and say we’re not gonna tolerate this any longer.”

100 thoughts on “The Dark Side Of NFL Cheerleading”

  1. I can't let this pass, the way she said Cincinnati Bengals just made me laugh out loud. A Bengal is is a tiger, it's a very common word.

  2. Vaya , ese es el paraรญso para los hombres , gracias Nicki por pensar en nosotros , lo voy a descargar .๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  3. As a male I feel that cheerleading is stupid. Why do these women even want to do this? No pay, nobody respects them, drunk guys harass them and the teams treat them like garbage. It's 2019 and time for cheerleading to go away.

  4. I would sue to, they are sexist, prejudice , at times I racist and definitely are robbing these girls blind, great video and thank you for bringing this to light

  5. It gets much worst than this, they left some major things out! They should have mentioned when the Redskins cheer leaders were forced to get naked in front of share holders and then had to be their escorts for the night!

  6. This is ridiculous treatment of quality employees. I'm not a 'Gillette' kind of metro but this needs the light shone on it.

  7. I mean does the NFL really need cheer leaders to attract fans? Yea I didn't think so either..I heard dallas cheerleaders only made $50 a game..u can make more than that being a waitress ๐Ÿ˜’

  8. sooooo, there is certain requirements and criterias to be a cheeleader that they dont meet and dont like and because of that, they want the requirement and criterias to be changed? what a surprise! lmao..

  9. why is nobody making moves to fix these fucked up set of rules affecting NFL cheerleaders? they should be making bank like NFL players.

  10. That's it! I will never respect, or cheer, the team that treats their cheerleaders that way! I know it's prevalent and it leaves out almost all the teams! But God damn it, this pisses me off!

  11. That weight test shit is really dangerous because that's how people end up on drugs and with eating disorders. That should be banned in every profession

  12. I bet the NFL players sleep with some of them and if they try to report it they get blacklisted and lawyers intimidate them.

  13. Having a hard time feeling bad for these ladies. If you want to be a cheerleader then you do what they want you to do. I'm pretty sure every woman knows what will be expected going into it. If you don't like how it's done then don't be a cheerleader.

  14. While I donโ€™t understand the point of cheerleading in football, I can admit the nfl is shit at treating these woman like humans.

  15. Let's use basic common sense…

    Modern day cheerleading is showing skin, attract more people for game…

    No one would want a Fat women for the job. And women doing a job which involves cheering when some goal achieved are expected to look beautiful, show some skin…

    But wages are another story, 90$ is very less per game…

  16. Their standards make me mad!!๐Ÿ˜ก Have to love dancers with all figures, not encourage eating disorders.๐Ÿ’ƒ๐ŸŒน

  17. How the hell do they get away with paying them so damn little? they'd make more money doing amateur modelling, or pretty much any part time min wage job even after the mandatory raise they mentioned in the video. The rest of it I get, even if it's a little dehumanising it still makes sense, but what the hell.

  18. If a job sucks, especially if you know it in advance, then do something different. Nobody wants to see fat out of shape pigs jumping around cheering for a team. The feminist disease strikes again!

  19. 127lbs is Beyonce's ideal weight Read it in a magazine once. My bubble butt would def not pass that jiggle test and I'm in great shape at that…unreal.

  20. This is comical. This is a job you signed up for and you knew all this going in. If they are tired of it then quit or try and change things. Stop making it out to be some kind of conspiracy. Your pay is not based off what the players get! They are the ones to fill the seats, it is about them not sexist just facts! Also do you not think players have to make weight!!!? Players have had to make weight for forever and go through all sorts of crazy shit and being belittled if they don't make weight, but yet you have never heard this sort of uproar for them!!! Players are also expected to conduct themselves a certain way also. I'm so tired of this "we are being treated unfairly" bullshit. find a real cause to get behind, because this ain't it!

  21. None of this will really change until the ownership of NFL teams changes. Perhaps we need Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to buy up a few teams.

  22. A close friend of mine is a former Dallas Cowboy cheerleader. She described what a gruelling job it was. The cheerleaders could NEVER do a promo, wearing any Cowboy cheerleader outfit, unless it was a sanctioned "Organization" event. Also, she was required to have a full-time job, while ALWAYS having to participate in EVERY cheerleader drill, unless one had a valid health excuse from an M.D.. Missing a drill would lead to being benched for at least one game with certainty. Communicating with any football team member was strictly prohibited and would result in being fired.
    Frankly, I cannot understand why a woman would subject herself to such scrutiny on such a very, very personal level.

  23. Cheer leading is not a fucking SPORT, its just a glamour. if you feel you are not treat right and paid right , get organised get out, stop cheerleading . there are better and real careers ahead girls. don't fool "eye candy" for "career"

  24. How about everyone just quit. Then you wonโ€™t have to deal with shitty pay. You could get more in a retail job

  25. If I owned a sports team I would not have cheerleaders, It's a waste of money. Just hire a different act for each home game.

  26. I had a field pass to a Detroit/Boston Patriots (yes, that's how long ago it was) game and was chatting with a couple cheerleaders. They were very sweet and friendly. I thought about hitting on them before I remembered A) I'm an old fart and B) my wife was watching the game on TV.

  27. The NFL is extremely popular, but it's also the most arrogant game in American sports, one which treats lots of people like shit.

  28. Dam how tf do cheerleaders make that much money? I don't expect them to get paid on the same term of a football player mind you but 9$ per hour?! I always thought they got paid a fraction the players got or something

  29. These cheerleaders are subject to rules that are from another century, women should stop doing this until they are considered as a part of the football organization

  30. Well you want a job knowing how much you are going to get paid. No one forces you to do it, then you complain? Just quit, or better yet don't apply. But I will say that NFL teams and other sports that pay millions to a bunch of idiots should be able and willing to pay their human billboards more than what they are paying them now. Most of them want to be cheerleaders to hook up with a dumbass millionaire. That's life. Walking around in underwear… smh

  31. Eye candy has its benefits. If there was nothing to gain, being a cheerleader for a professional team would not exist. The perks can be generous…on the down low of course.

  32. If you base your whole career on looks, dont be shocked when a new younger, fitter person takes your job. Looks fade, and a new person turns 18 every day.

  33. Really stupid video, minute I will never get back. I guess we are to feel sorry for women who want to be cheerleaders and shake it for crowds of men for low pay. Seriously? I hear strippers make great money doing the same thing.

  34. I had heard of this obviously sexists practice long ago and really didn't believe it. Jerry Brown GOT them minimum wage.what a joke. why don't the players help them get better pay ? I would love to see All cheerleaders strike at the same time.its not like they can replace them quick.players benefit from their presence,and should do something about this.there HOT!! and could do enforcement's and music videos and calendars. I think they should make a decent living. $35,000 + whatever. wish I was A dolphin. Wonka Luv'z ya All cheerleaders. don't care a f ball…

  35. Band together and fight for decent pay, ladies. You don't HAVE TO do all that work for peanuts. But it won't work if u don't all stick together. And if you do stick together and the NFL decides to get rid of you, then at least u won't continue to be used like cattle. Why would you keep doing this for an organization that exploits you anyway?

  36. I'm a Man, on my wife's phone, lol.
    But Lady's time to take a stand..
    Ban together, rise up, get your wages etc.. You got my vote!!!!

  37. 125.00 dollars a day wow the raiders are treating these woman like hoes. Actually compared to football players that are getting payed millions and are stars commercial contracts and shoe etc contracts the cheerhoe leaders are getting treated like crackheads

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