The report states that there are strict rules for NFL cheerleaders, including weight goals and what to wear. (Reuters)
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NFL cheerleaders must maintain an “ideal body weight,” participate in “proper tampon use” and refrain from wearing tracksuits in public, according to a new report detailing the strict rules governing cheerleaders in the league.
The New York Times reports teams such as the Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers have strict rules for women to follow.
According to the report, everything is available, including women’s personal hygiene, dating life and wardrobe. Some of the handbooks reviewed by The Times revealed advice including “shaving techniques, the correct use of tampons” and a ban on women wearing tracksuits in public.
Baltimore Ravens fans have been told to weigh themselves regularly to maintain a certain weight.
Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders were weighed regularly to ensure they were “maintaining an ideal body weight,” according to a 2009 handbook. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals told their cheerleaders to be within “three pounds of their ideal weight.”
The Bengals told The New York Times that the team has changed its guidelines and no longer has a weight requirement. The Ravens and the NFL declined to comment.
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Carolina Panthers cheerleaders, known as TopCats, must show up five hours before kickoff, take water breaks only when the team is on offense, and change into uniforms only after leaving the stadium.
Pay is also a problem for cheerleaders. Dancers are paid barely more than minimum wage, but have to spend hundreds on their uniforms. Many also have to attend charity events to help sell tickets and calendars – but receive no proceeds.
The report states that Carolina Panthers cheerleaders can change their uniforms when outside the stadium.
New Orleans Saints cheerleaders had to sell at least 20 bikini calendars before games.
Bailey Davis, a former Saints cheerleader, told The New York Times that she was fired days after she posted a picture of herself in a one-piece swimsuit on social media in January. She said she was accused by team officials of violating rules that prohibit female cheerleaders from performing naked, half-naked or in their underwear and that prohibit them from attending parties with Saints players.
Davis told The New York Times that she was often afraid of being touched by a drunken fan while selling calendars.
“You walk past a guy and you’re afraid they’re going to touch you,” Davis said. “Every girl is afraid to go there before the games. We didn’t feel very important because we were literally thrown into the mix with the fans. Who would throw professional cheerleaders walking around with cash out with drunken fans?’
After her termination, Davis filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that the Saints held cheerleaders and players to separate standards.
The New Orleans Saints have asked cheerleaders not to appear in nude or semi-nude photos.
The report says that, like the Saints, many teams ask their cheerleaders not to appear in nude or semi-nude photos. Cheerleaders are also prohibited from exotic dancing and “appearing in unsavory films, photographs or bikini/swimsuit competitions.”
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Oakland Raiders cheerleaders, the Raiderettes, are not allowed to associate with or follow NFL players on social media. Strict rules even state that cheerleaders are prohibited from posting photos of themselves in uniform. Raiderettes are also at risk of losing their pay if they bring the wrong uniform or pom poms on game day.
The Oakland Raiderettes are banned from fraternizing with NFL players.
The San Francisco 49ers go one step further with their cheerleaders. Gold Rush cheerleaders are not allowed to tell people they are affiliated with the team. We also advise them to turn off the GPS function on their phones so that their friends and family do not know their location during the games.
As for the cheerleaders complaining about the rules, they should be told they are easily interchangeable.
San Francisco 49ers cheerleaders are not allowed to tell people they work for the team.
“The purpose of the club is to completely control the behavior of women, even when they are not actually at their workplace,” said Leslie Levy, an attorney who represented the cheerleaders who sued the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders. “It’s a question of power. You see different treatment between cheerleaders, mascots and everyone else who works for the team. I can’t think of another venue where employers exercise this level of control even when they’re not at work.”
The New York Jets Flight Crew cheerleaders won a case in which the team agreed to pay dancers about $325,000 in back wages. The class action lawsuit alleged that the women were not paid for internships and other work.
Some teams say they are striving for a better and more equal work environment.
The New York Jets Flight Crew cheerleaders won a case in which the team agreed to pay dancers about $325,000 in back wages.
For example, the Los Angeles Rams announced that two men will be joining their sideline.
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The report comes at a tumultuous time when women and men are speaking out about sexual misconduct in the workplace. See the article : ‘I just want to be the best cheerleader I can be’: Cold Springs’ McKinna Duke looks forward to senior year. Meanwhile, NFL cheerleaders are known for wearing barely-there clothing for their mostly male fans.
The Los Angeles Rams announced that the dancers will be joined by two men on the sidelines.
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The NFL is coming off a tumultuous year with declining ratings and public criticism — most notably from President Trump — over players kneeling or sitting in protest while playing the Star-Spangled Banner. On the same subject : Oakland youth football team escaped shooting twice, but won’t let violence break it.