Target: NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent
Goal: Pay NFL (National Football League) cheerleaders at least minimum wage for working long hours at a physically demanding job.
NFL cheerleaders often work more than 10 hours a day, earning less than minimum wage. It is also not uncommon for the cheerleaders to be harassed about their weight, hair color, or feminine responsibilities.
An athlete is never harassed about whether or not their legs jiggle when they walk, if their hair is dyed to the exact color, or if they’re using the right “vaginal freshness” techniques. Yes, this is exactly what was demanded of the Buffalo Bills cheerleaders by their supervisors. Meanwhile, the cheerleaders, enthusiastically dancing for the entirety of each season, were getting paid less than minimum wage and working long hours. Once a cheerleader’s career with a team is over, she is left with no financial security. Most dance-related careers have a short “shelf life” because dancers are no longer asked to work after a certain age, much like an athlete’s career.
NFL cheerleaders have recently filed an increasing amount of lawsuits against the teams that hire them under pathetic wages and working conditions. The cheerleaders for the Raiders allege that they were paid less than $5 an hour for an entire season. For those cheerleaders that did win their lawsuit, they still only received what they should have received from the start: minimum wage.
The NFL, having earned about $12 billion last year, shouldn’t have any difficulty paying fair wages to hard working employees. Their decision to be so needlessly stingy with their money, especially towards their cheerleaders, is a direct demonstration of their unfair and corrupt professional practices. Demand that the NFL increase cheerleader wages and fire disrespectful managers and supervisors.
Dear Mr. Vincent,
Last year, the NFL earned about $12 billion. With a figure so astounding, it shouldn’t be difficult for the league to pay fair wages to their employees. Still, somehow, NFL cheerleaders are being disrespected, overworked, and underpaid.
An athlete is never harassed about whether or not their bodies jiggle when they walk or if they are following the detailed instructions about “vaginal freshness.” If you feel uncomfortable with the statement, imagine how the cheerleaders felt to have their privacy scrutinized so heavily for minimum wage. This is exactly what was demanded of the Buffalo Bills cheerleaders, the Buffalo Jills, by their supervisors. Furthermore, at a certain age, and after a career of working long hours in a degrading and disrespectful environment, cheerleaders are left with no financial security.
The NFL could do much more to appreciate these hard-working dancers that represent the support and fan base behind every successful team. I demand that the NFL increase cheerleader wages and fire disrespectful managers and supervisors.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: rockymountainspirit