Lacy Thibodeaux, a former Oakland Raiders cheerleader, took the NFL to court after he realized his employment contract contained illegal clauses that robbed him of wages.
NFL cheerleaders have been underpaid for decades, sometimes earning as little as $5 an hour — less than minimum wage — while the players they cheer for earn millions. That is starting to change, thanks to a series of lawsuits brought by cheerleaders in recent years. So far, 10 of the 26 NFL teams with cheerleading have been sued for pay theft, unsafe working conditions, sexual harassment and discrimination.
A new documentary, “A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem,” offers an insight into the lives of the women who spurred this change: Lacy Thibodeaux Fields, former Oakland Raiders cheerleader, and Maria Pinzone, former Oakland Raiders cheerleader. Buffalo Bills.
The film, which debuts on PBS on Jan. 4, details the long and often unpaid hours that cheerleaders were forced to devote to rehearsals and sponsored events, and the expenses they had to absorb, including transportation to away games. and hair and makeup for official events. photo sessions.
The film’s director, Yu Gu, told Marketplace’s Andy Uhler that these practices aren’t just illegal — they’re part of a larger problem with professional sports leagues pushing aside women’s roles and reinforcing the gender pay gap.
“I think it’s a shame that in the professional leagues the role of cheerleaders has been severely limited and hasn’t been able to evolve. And part of this is due to gender inequality; because they have no power in their workplace,” Gu said.
The following is an edited transcript of Gu’s conversation with Uhler.
Andy Uhler: It’s hard to believe the NFL was able to get away with paying these cheerleaders so little for so long. I’m curious, how did this happen? Was it just sort of flying under the radar? What was happening?
Yu Gu: Yes, I think in the beginning, [cheerleading] was given to these women as a way for them to really show their talent and, in a way, to volunteer to perform. And over the years, as the NFL has morphed into this multibillion-dollar industry, that original thinking hasn’t really changed much. So now these women that are in the movie, they’re really the first women to stand up and say, “No, this isn’t right and we need to do something about it.”
Uhler: And part of that has to do with the fact that teams, not the NFL itself, pay the cheerleaders. I’m curious how the NFL and its commissioner Roger Goodell rationalized this.
Gu: I think Roger Goodell was on public record at a press conference, saying that he encourages every team to pay every employee fairly, but it’s really every team’s responsibility, every corporation, to pay their employees. And that’s a kind of reasoning. But at the same time, these women are NFL cheerleaders; they are being marketed by the NFL on their website. So it’s really part of that system that’s making money for the NFL and its teams.
Uhler: There’s an important gender aspect here too, right? There’s total pay discrimination, but also the way we treat these women as a kind of complement to what these men are doing in the field. This is an important part of the story you are trying to tell.
Gu: Yes, again, I think since the beginning of cheerleading in the professional league and the NFL, it was seen as a kind of complement. But since then, decades later, you’ve seen the evolution of cheerleading in high school and college, and it’s become its own thing. Men and women are passionate about cheerleading, cheerleaders. It’s a sport; they are athletes as well as talented dancers and performers. So it’s definitely evolved a lot, and I think it’s a shame that in the professional leagues its role has been severely limited and it hasn’t been able to evolve. And part of this is due to gender inequality; because they have no power in their workplace.
A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem is broadcast on Independent Lens on PBS on Monday, January 4 at 10 pm. ET (check local listings).
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Do dallas Cowboys cheerleader get paid?
Most NFL cheer squads are part-time jobs. Oftentimes, cheerleaders have completed or are attending college and continue into other careers after cheering for one to four seasons. See the article : Cowboys Night presented by American Airlines. Members participate in practices, training camps, games, appearances, photo shoots and charity events.
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Salary. As per various data sources, the average salary of NFL cheerleaders is $50-75 per public appearance. In addition, they also receive $150 per game day.
How much does a Dallas Cowboy cheer make?
How hard is it to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader? DCC is widely considered the toughest NFL cheerleading squad to make. Veteran squad members must re-audition every year. To see also : Photos: Relax and Celebrate! The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders perform at the opening ceremonies of training camp. Finglass was the first cheerleader in DCC history who didn’t have to re-audition when she was automatically selected back for a fifth season.
Do NFL cheerleaders travel with the team?
Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders now earn $12 an hour and receive $400 for each appearance on a game day. That said, some senior-level cheerleaders reportedly earn around $75,000 a year. Read also : Eagles Cheerleader Kyle Tanguay is not your average rookie. As a result of a lawsuit, they increased their cheerleading salaries.
Usually, cheerleading is just a part-time job. So cheerleaders don’t normally travel with their team. However, some teams go with their cheerleaders, for example the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Squads of Cheerleaders will travel with their team in the Playoffs.
How long do NFL cheerleaders work?
How much do NFL cheerleaders get laid? The average salary for an NFL cheerleader is $150 per game day and about $50 to $75 for a public appearance.