NFL cheerleading controversy

NFL cheerleading controversy

After a deluge of negative headlines about the NFL’s treatment of cheerleaders, we wanted to hear from the women who have actually done the work. In 2014, the Oakland Raiders settled a class action lawsuit alleging wage theft for $1.25 million.

This year, the New York Times has published countless reports of alleged harassment and discrimination among the ranks of NFL cheerleaders, including an alarming account from a group of Washington Redskins cheerleaders who described a trip to Costa Rica where they were allegedly ordered to be “personal attendants”. “by a group of V.I.P. sponsors and fans at a local nightclub.

We spoke with four former NFL cheerleaders about recent headlines alleging discrimination, harassment and a lack of adequate compensation. The women we spoke to seem to have had overwhelmingly positive experiences during their time as cheerleaders, and spoke candidly about the questions about compensation, social media, and rules about interacting with players that have caused controversy throughout the League.

If you’ve worked as an NFL cheerleader and want to share your story, email gflanagan@businessinsider.com. Below is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Most NFL teams have cheerleaders. You see them on the sidelines during games and sometimes during halftime. They look like they’re having fun, don’t they? But recent reports of harassment, lack of compensation and gender discrimination have shed light on the treatment of cheerleaders in the NFL. The New York Times reported on some alleged job details that are sketchy, to say the least.

We spoke to four former NFL cheerleaders who shared their experiences.

Rachel Swartz: My experience was very positive. I felt really empowered by the whole experience.

Narrator: The first team to have cheerleaders was the Baltimore Colts in 1954. Since then, getting a coveted spot on the team has become super competitive. Every year, thousands of women equip themselves for work. That’s right, it’s a paid position, which is officially considered part-time, and each team sets the guidelines and salary scale for their respective staff. Not only do cheerleaders have to be available for games, but they also have mandatory practices and appearances. But it turns out they aren’t always adequately compensated for their time. In 2014, the Oakland Raiders paid a $1.25 million settlement to former cheerleaders following a wage theft class action lawsuit.

Sharon Vinick: I think women are intimidated.

Narrator: Sharon Vinick is an attorney who worked on the 2014 class action lawsuit against the Raiders.

Sharon Vinick: Women are told that they are really lucky to dance and that if they don’t want to dance, they don’t have to. And they should be grateful for any opportunity they get. But compare that to the guys who are the quarterbacks. I mean, they’re very lucky to be quarterbacks, but they’re still getting paid millions of dollars. And there is this sense of fairness that some of the women just don’t perceive.

Narrator: But this spring, thousands of women still showed up to try and make the cut for next season. We wanted to find out what the job was really like, from the women who had done it. Twin sisters Dresdynn and Schuyler Warnell cheered for the Houston Texans from 2010 to 2014.

Schuyler Warnell: If I have a daughter in the future, I would definitely let her cheer for the Houston Texans. –

Narrator: Jennifer Omohundro cheered two teams over the course of six seasons. He started with the Tennessee Titans in 1999 and ended with the Atlanta Falcons in 2005.

Jennifer Omohundro: I’m sorry to hear that there is actually this very negative press going around. It’s a wonderful experience, I think it’s for everyone, how you deal with it and how you take it.

Rachel Swartz: These are my pom poms.

Narrator: Rachel Swartz cheered for the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Rachel Swartz: My experience was very positive, I felt really empowered by the whole experience. It’s really unfortunate to hear so many other stories about women who haven’t had the same positive experience that I have.

Narrator: We asked these former entertainers to address the issues raised in recent headlines, and we started with some compensation.

Graham Flanagan: Can you give me an idea of ​​what you’ve been paid or what you can take home on average in a season?

Rachel Swartz: I mean, would you think it would be appropriate if I asked you how much you made? Therefore, no. We were paid for every hour we were in uniform or at practice.

Jennifer Omohundro: It wouldn’t be something you would live off of. It’s been a long time, I don’t remember. But I can tell you it was definitely minimal.

Dresdynn Warnell: I think we have $200 a game?

Schuyler Warnell: Yeah, $200 a game, so with that $200 a game, plus the workouts, plus the appearances, we got paid to train, we got paid for the appearances, if we had to drive to the appearance, they reimbursed us. They paid us for the mileage. I have read articles about the Oakland Raiders, and I am in shock, how is this happening?

Sharon Vinick: The Oakland Raiders cheerleaders, for example, got $1,250 a season. We understand the mascots are reportedly paid between $40,000 and $60,000 per season, plus benefits. And the least played NFL player, someone who is a bench warmer and doesn’t play a game, gets paid $100,000. So $1,250 is less money than someone selling hot dogs in the stands pays.

Narrator: NFL cheerleading squads have strict restrictions on social media. So strict, in fact, that a former New Orleans Saints cheerleader was fired for an Instagram post. He is currently suing for discrimination. According to the former cheerleaders we spoke to, these restrictions are common.

Rachel Swartz: I know it’s a little different in other organizations, but we didn’t have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. We were not allowed to have any of them, and that was mainly for our protection. I think there had been situations in the past where safety measures had to be taken, and I think this was just one of them, and this was just one of the rules that they had to make sure that everybody felt safe and protected

Dresdynn Warnell: Personally, I always thought the rule was kind of stupid. I mean, to be honest, you know, it’s like, how are you going to tell me I can’t post part of my life? – Like, it consumes your life. – It consumes your life for the most part, so for organizations to tell you, you know, you personally, that you can’t post what you do most of your days, I thought that was very, very silly.

Schuyler Warnell:  But I think it’s really funny when people kind of like, retire, let’s say, or don’t make the team, and you see their Instagram or Facebook and it’s like pictures.

Narrator: While the no social media rule is common, some teams, like the Denver Broncos, allow their cheerleaders to post from official team-affiliated social media accounts. One of the most common rules for NFL cheerleaders is that interaction with players is strictly prohibited, and violation of this rule can result in immediate termination.

Jennifer Omohundro: There were blanket rules of no fraternizing, meaning no dating the players. Even though they make passes on the field, sometimes it would be the only time we were really around them. I mean, they’re professionals, they’re doing their thing as athletes, and we were doing our thing.

Dresdynn Warnell: They make it very clear. Once you make the team, you know, they make this big speech, that you can’t associate with a player.

Schuyler Warnell:  Because we’re going to get fired and they’re not.

Dresdynn Warnell: Yes. They would even go so far as to say yes, say you’re in a restaurant, and a couple of players come in. You know, we should leave, because they don’t even want us in the same room.

Rachel Swartz: I think it’s kind of a rule that you would see in any other business, don’t date your co-workers. I think it’s the same kind of principle.

Dresdynn Warnell: There are still players who approach the cheerleaders and the cheerleaders approach them, so obviously we signed those contracts, but not everyone plays by the rules, I think it’s just human nature.

Rachel Swartz: I would say there were some awkward situations, but the organization went out of their way to really protect us and you know, really get ahead of us in any of those situations, whether it’s having security with us in every appearances, or you know, when you’ We’re in the suites taking pictures, having someone hold a ball instead of putting their arms around us. I think as these situations go, the organization really took the right steps to make sure we felt safe at all times.

Dresdynn Warnell: I think that comes with the territory, you know, with anything, if you’re going to get a bunch of girls together, there’s going to be some mostly male interaction or male attention that you really don’t want. That’s why we always had a walking police escort.

Schuyler Warnell: Yes, jeans are very good at security.

Dresdynn Warnell: Yeah, they were good about making sure we felt safe. Our sophomore year, a few girls had like, bullies.

Schuyler Warnell: The Texans organization was like, right on that. We were never worried or questioned about our safety. Every time we practiced, we had a policeman with us. We’ve never been like, alone.

Narrator: So the women we talked to seemed to have experiences that were overwhelmingly positive. But every team is different, and only time will tell if those under scrutiny will actually change for the better.

Graham Flanagan: What advice would you give to a cheerleader, an NFL cheerleader who is about to seek further help for a potential injustice?

Sharon Vinick: My advice is that you should think hard about whether you want to be part of a system that allows this to happen, or whether you want to change that system, because only women like our brave clients Lacy and Sarah do. and advocating for change you will see differences as you go along. So I encourage all women to stand up for the world they would like to see.

Qualifications and what the judges are looking for The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are looking for candidates who are 18 years of age at the time of preliminary auditions. You must be a graduate or have a GED. The DCC has no specific height and weight requirements.

Which NFL teams still have cheerleaders?

Which NFL teams still have cheerleaders?

Notable Cheerleaders

Do they still have NFL cheerleaders? In 2021, there are seven NFL football teams without cheerleading squads: the Bills, Cleveland Browns, Bears, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Chargers, NY Giants and Steelers. What is this? The seven teams above are the only NFL teams to play games without a cheerleading squad on the sidelines.

Why do the Buffalo Bills not have cheerleaders?

Buffalo Bills The Bills used to have cheerleaders, but got rid of the team after several cheerleaders demanded the team. Read also : The Plum School Board honors the cadets of JROTC, the cheerleading coach. The Bills now have a drum line that entertains the crowd during games.

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How old is the oldest Cowboy cheerleader?

The oldest woman to ever dance with the Cowboys cheerleaders was Linda Badami, a 37-year-old mother of four from Kansas, according to Kelli Finglass, who runs the team. To see also : MontCo Woman Named New Eagle Cheerleader | Montgomeryville, Pa. Patch.

Who is the oldest Dallas Cowboy? Fred Cone (94) is the longest living former Dallas Cowboy, but Billy Howton (90) is the oldest TD for the team. Howton played for the Packers and Cowboys during his career (1952-63) and retired as the NFL leader in career receiving yards.

O-Zone: Violation of the rules
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