Under normal circumstances, Gloria Allred’s clients invite eye rolls and obvious allegations of thinly veiled political stunts. However, of late, she’s taken on four ladies who are the latest in a long line of National Football League Cheerleaders to sue the team for which they work due to low wages, and unacceptable working conditions.
On Monday, they hand-delivered a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell demanding better pay, etc., for cheerleaders for all teams.
The letter came three days after the cheerleaders sued the Houston Texans in federal court, saying the team had failed to pay them the minimum wage or compensate for overtime and that the cheerleading coach created a hostile work environment.
“Cheerleaders are being exploited and mistreated solely because they are women,” Gloria Allred, the cheerleaders’ attorney, said, reading from the letter at a sidewalk news conference outside NFL headquarters in New York. “These cheerleaders deserve to be paid more than a mere pittance.”…
The former cheerleaders’ lawsuit, filed in the Houston district court, said they were meant to be paid $7.25 an hour for working for the team but were routinely not paid for compulsory work duties.
That work included traveling to and attending events, signing thousands of team calendars, mandatory gym training and compulsory spray tans before every game, the lawsuit said.
The former cheerleaders also accused their coach of intimidating them with cruel comments about their physical appearance and ignoring concerns about their safety in interactions with overzealous fans.
In addition to the Houston team, in the past five years, NFL franchises from Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Buffalo and the New York Jets have been sued by cheerleaders current and former for similar reasons indicating that this sort of treatment is part of the NFL culture in general.
To be an NFL cheerleader takes a lot of work, just like any professional entertainment position does, believe it or not. These women work their tails off all for the privilege of being objectified by the culture (and men) for their perceived perfection which, in case readers are not aware, TAKES A LOT OF WORK. And to do it for $7.25 an hour, there has to be some other motivation. But still, the players make millions and don’t have to get a spray-on tan before every game.
Something just isn’t right here.