NFL Cheerleaders are suing for a Livable Wage for their 300 Hours of Annual Work

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 26th, 2014

Week in Review

If you were in the ‘in’ crowd in high school the most ‘in’ people were the quarterback of the football team and the head cheerleader.  Typically the best looking guy and girl in high school.  This is why girls want to be cheerleaders.  Because only pretty and popular girls are cheerleaders.  These girls don’t get paid.  And that’s okay.  Because they do it for the privilege of wearing that cheerleader uniform.  And being part of the ‘in’ crowd.

There’s a fascination with cheerleaders.  Men like them so much they made a porno movie about a girl trying to make a football cheerleader squad that wasn’t the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders but looked like it was.  Debbie Does Dallas.  A porn bestselling video.  Because men like cheerleaders.  For they are toned, fit and beautiful.  And they wear revealing outfits.  Which is why NFL cheerleaders are sexy.

Women try hard to become NFL cheerleaders.  But only toned, fit and beautiful women get to be cheerleaders.  Which is why women work so hard to be toned, fit and beautiful.  So they can go to cheerleader tryouts and best the competition.  To win that honor of wearing an NFL cheerleader uniform.  At least, that’s how it has been until now (see String of Cheerleader Lawsuits the Next Headache for the NFL by Tierney Sneed posted 4/25/2014 on US News and World Report).

What will become of the Buffalo Jills, the cheerleaders that are on the sidelines for Buffalo Bills games? A lawsuit alleging lower than minimum wage earnings and other New York labor law violations filed by five former Buffalo Jills has caused the suspension of the squad, and taken with a pair of similar suits, is creating yet another public relations cloud over the National Football League.

Stephanie Mateczun – president of Stejon Productions Corp., the third-party production company that manages the Jills and was named in the suit alongside the team – confirmed the organization’s activities had ceased indefinitely as a result of the lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court Tuesday…

The Jills’ lawsuit is the third case to be brought up by an NFL team’s cheerleaders against their respective organization this year. Each case – the first, a class action suit filed in January against the Oakland Raiders, and the second, launched in February by a Ben-Gals cheerleader against the Cincinnati Bengals – is unique in its specifics…

The string of cases, as well as leaked copies of cheerleader handbooks from other teams, suggest the alleged mistreatment of cheerleaders is a league-wide problem. They are often paid per game, with hours spent practicing or at off-field events left uncompensated. They are also held to standards unthinkable in most workplaces: regular weigh-ins, costly requirements for certain hair and beauty treatments, and restrictions on who they date and what they post to social media…

Similar claims were made in the next suit to follow, filed by Ben-Gals’ cheerleader Alexa Brenneman against the Bengals in February. It suggests she made less than $2.85 an hour for her 300 hours of work during the season, well below Ohio’s $7.85 an hour minimum wage. The Jills suit likewise describes an alleged violation of New York minimum wage laws, and also details what it calls “demeaning and degrading treatment” at Jills events where the cheerleaders supposedly faced “lecherous stares,” “degrading sexual comments” and “inappropriate touching…”

“The issue here is … how we treat our workers in this country,” Dolce, of the Jills case, says – which is why he thinks the NFL should be paying attention as well. “I know it’s not a central issue for the NFL, but in terms of worker rights and human rights and gender politics, it shouldn’t just be ignored…”

The controversy isn’t sitting well with the NFL’s current  marketing outreach to female fans. A Change.org petition launched before the lawsuits were filed demands teams across the league provide their cheerleaders with livable salaries – and it has more than 100,000 signatures.

Livable salaries?  Cheerleading is not a job.  It’s a thing to do for fun.  That thing these women may enjoy unlike their day job.  Which provides their livable salaries.  Not their cheerleader earnings.  I mean, who can work only 300 hours a year and expect to pay all of their bills?

Cheerleading can’t be that horrible.  Because women go to cheerleader tryouts to make the squad.  And abide by all the rules to remain a cheerleader.  If it was so horrible they wouldn’t do this.  But they do.  And they’re not doing this for the money.  For we know they don’t make any money being a cheerleader.  No.  They do this because they love it.

You know who’s happy now?  Teams that don’t have cheerleaders.  And if they were considering adding them you can bet they won’t now.  In fact, those teams that do may consider dropping theirs.  For here’s a startling fact.  Cheerleaders don’t win games.  The only time most people even see them is coming out of a commercial break.  Then they’re gone.  As the football game fills widescreen televisions across the country.  They are trying to use cheerleaders to make the stadium experience special as a lot of people these days prefer watching football at home on their widescreen televisions.  Making it harder to sell out some home games.  But it is doubtful people are going to buy tickets for a game because they may be able to talk to a cheerleader.  No matter how pretty or sexy they are.  Because people love football more.

Teams may make some money with their cheerleaders.  But it’s probably not enough to justify these legal headaches.  So NFL cheerleaders may soon be a thing of the past.  Something most football fans probably won’t even notice.  For few in a big stadium can even see them.  And those watching on television may catch a glimpse of them but that’s not why they’re tuning in.  No, the people who will most notice the passing of the NFL cheerleader are the cheerleaders.  And the women who wanted to try out to become a cheerleader.  Something they may have dreamed about since high school.

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