Target: Jerry Brown, California Governor
Goal: Require California professional sports teams to pay cheerleaders a minimum wage for their work.
NFL cheerleaders have been speaking out recently about their work conditions, which often include low to no pay and no benefits. These women work for organizations that make millions and even billions of dollars every year, and yet are not even paid minimum wage. A lawmaker in California is trying to make this illegal and require all local professional sports teams to compensate cheerleaders fairly. Support the bill to ensure that professional sports can no longer use women’s free labor in their billion-dollar industry.
Lorena Gonzales (D-San Diego) is the California Assemblywoman who introduced the bill. Gonzales is a former cheerleader and labor organizer. She was quoted saying “NFL teams and their billionaire owners have used professional cheerleaders as part of the game day experience for decades. They have capitalized on their talents without providing even the most basic workplace protections like a minimum wage.” Several lawsuits were filed recently by cheerleaders against the teams they work for, starting with The Oakland Raiders. Cheerleaders spoke about extremely low pay, lack of basic benefits, and strict policies that often include fines and leave the cheerleaders with practically no money at the end of the season.
Cheerleaders work very hard and help NFL teams make huge profits. There is no reason for them to not be compensated just like any other team employee, and they cannot be expected to settle for the honor of dancing for a national team instead of receiving an actual salary. Please urge California’s governor to take a stand for workers’ rights and make California lead the way towards a fair treatment of cheerleaders in professional sports.
Dear Governor Brown,
It is extremely common for cheerleaders on professional sports teams to make little to no money for their work, and to not even be classified as employees, which prevents them from accessing basic labor protections. A new bill in California, proposed by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales (D-San Diego) can put an end to that and ensure that cheerleaders get fairly compensated for their hard work. I ask that you support this bill and guarantee that cheerleaders are treated fairly in their workplace, just like any other employee.
Teams like The Oakland Riders, who were recently sued by their cheerleaders for this issue, make millions of dollars every year and should be required to pay the people who work for them. Professional cheerleaders work extremely hard and help NFL teams make their huge profits. Please make California a leader in labor rights and help pass this important bill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Elisha Dawkins via Wikimedia Commons