In school, many girls become cheerleaders because they want to help their team out by giving them momentum. But the possibility of becoming a cheerleader in the NFL is something that very few girls think about during classes.
The ones that do take that next step find themselves in another world filled with TV time and public appearances. While it may seem nice, this isn’t one of the most glamorous jobs out there. We take a look at a few things that tend to go on with a typical cheerleader in the NFL.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky
If you’re going to be in your best shape for the football field, you need to practice. NFL cheerleaders head to practice three times a week to brush up on their routines. Most practices tend to run for either two or three hours. Before getting down to business, the ladies chat with each other about their daily life. For rookie cheerleaders, this is a great way to show how valuable they can be for the team.
“When you’re a rookie, you’re trying desperately to be accepted by veterans because you’re an outcast,” stated Tennessee Titans cheerleader Evony Thompson to Quora.
It’s Gameday, Y’all
Cpl. Michelle M. Dickson
After all of the practicing, it’s time for the game! Cheerleaders tend to show up to the stadium before everybody else. Before the game, they can be seen at the tailgate selling various items, including calendars and autographed posters.
Less Than Stellar Pay
1st Class Tina M. Ackerman
The pay for cheerleading can be quite low. Exactly how low? Well, a server at Applebee’s can walk away with more money than someone on the Dallas Cowboys’ squad. Some veteran cheerleaders can make around $1,000 to $1,500 per month. For everyone else, they’re playing for peanuts.
To make matters worse for cheerleaders, folks that portray team mascots can earn around $65,000 per year.
In 2014, Lacy T., who was a former cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders, sued the franchise for how cheerleaders were treated in terms of payment. The lawsuit stated that there were a plethora of existing fines, including getting benched from the game if you miss one part of the uniform. With a payment of $125 per game, it was unbearable for Lacy and several other cheerleaders.
Members of the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined Lacy in the lawsuit, which got the attention of legislators in both California and New York. All four teams shared a settlement worth over $2.6 million. In 2017, 94 former Raiders cheerleaders shared in a $1.25 million settlement for their time on the team.
Words Cut Like Knives
MN National Guard
It’s no secret that cheerleaders tend to belittle each other privately. It’s unfortunate when coaches and other players do the same. There have been a plethora of horrid stories involving coaches calling cheerleaders fat, benching them for not looking sexy enough, and ordering them to get on a diet. This behavior leads to several cheerleaders quitting their job.