The first openly transgender cheerleader in the National Football League will make her 2022 season debut beginning in September.
Justine Lindsay, a 29-year-old trans woman of color, will cheer for the Carolina Panthers’ “TopCats,” becoming the NFL’s first openly transgender cheerleader, BuzzFeed News reports for the first time.
While there is no official record for NFL cheerleaders hired throughout league history, Lindsay appears to be the first openly transgender person.
Lindsay announced her signing in an Instagram post in March, thanking the TopCats team, other dancers who supported her, and her director, Chandalae Lanouette: “This is a moment I will never forget and I can’t wait to show you all what this girl is all about. has. bring. Thank you [Topcats] a dream come true.”
In her first interview since joining the team, Lindsay spoke to BuzzFeed about the anxiety she felt posting on social media about her landmark hire. “I was so scared,” she said. “There are just some things you can’t post.”
Lindsay’s announcement has since gone viral, with fans commenting on messages of support and congratulations to the new cheerleader.
But Lindsay has had to deal with transphobia, harassment which she addressed in a recent Instagram post: “Thanks to all my haters who think I’m bringing down the organization, clearly not,” Lindsay wrote on Monday.
She continued: “The carolina panthers organization is an excellent one that supports all people white, black, trans yellow, straight etc. 🇧🇷
Lanouette and the Panthers also emphasized that Lindsay made the team due to her talent as a dancer.
“My goal is to create a team of individuals who are absolute fire on the field, but are incredible human beings in the locker room, good friends, good people, and at the end of the day, you have to go through the door first to get to that point.” Lanouette told BuzzFeed.
“TopCats members are hired based on their qualifications and abilities,” the Panthers said in a statement shared with NPR. “Our organization is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, color, disability, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. We wish all TopCats, including Justine Lindsay, an amazing season.”
Lindsay’s recent hiring comes as conservative lawmakers in several states are passing legislation that criminalizes trans athletes.
Republican lawmakers in Ohio on Wednesday passed legislation in the House that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in high school and college athletics. The bill would also require a genital inspection “verification process” for athletes suspected of being trans.
In March, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill banning transgender girls and women from participating in high school and college sports. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards allowed a similar legislative ban to become law by not vetoing it, despite not having signed it either.
Black cheerleaders also remain a minority in the NFL, with Eurocentric beauty expectations like straighter hair remaining the norm for dancers.
Lindsay, however, will be allowed to keep her bald look, which she adds is another opportunity to “inspire other girls who may be unsure about rocking her bald look.”
Overall, despite the barriers the league is still grappling with, Lindsay said she’s excited to pave the way as a trans woman of color: “This is huge,” she told BuzzFeed. “I think more people need to see this. It’s not because I want recognition. It’s just to clarify what’s going on in the world.”
Other NFL teams have made progress in diversifying their cheerleader roasters. In March 2018, the Los Angeles Rams signed their first two male cheerleaders.
That same year, the New Orleans Saints ‘Saintsations’ hired their first male dancer.
At least 11 NFL teams have male cheerleading squads, according to an NYU Journalism reporter, so male cheerleaders are represented in just over a third of the league. One of LeGette’s goals is to help more men join the professional ranks.
How much does an NFL cheerleader make?
Still, their salary is quite low compared to that of NFL players or other employees. To see also : I’m a former NFL cheerleader – people always make the same cruel comments when they see me at my university…. Different media outlets have published that the average pay rate for NFL cheerleaders is $150 per game day and $50-75 per public appearance, which comes out to around $22,500 per year.
How Much Does the Highest Paid NFL Cheerleader Make? Some NFL teams also make their cheerleaders pay to audition. However, it has been reported that professional or very experienced cheerleaders earn up to $75,000 per season.
How much does a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader make per year? That is, if you are a popular and well-known squadron. For example, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, also known as America’s Sweethearts, who are one of the most popular groups in the NFL, earn around $15-20 per hour, or $500 per game. Therefore, his annual salary comes to around $75,000.
Is NFL cheerleading a full-time job? NFL cheerleading is not a full-time job. Depending on the level of competition, some NFL cheerleaders may travel with the team to every game during the season, while others may be required to attend only one or two games a week.
Can you make a living as a cheerleader?
Most cheerleaders do not make a career out of cheerleading and only work as part-time cheerleaders. On the same subject : NFL Week 2: San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, Sunday, September 19, 2021.. This is also the reason why many teams accept college students into their ranks for part-time positions.