NFL cheerleaders live miserable lives of silent degredation

cheerleadermasterMan, I had no idea how rotten the contract language for professional sports cheerleaders could be. Check out this Mother Jones explainer, and the accompanying sample document. The labor agreements some of them sign control every imaginable aspect of their lives, from sex to body weight to underwear to tampons to mandatory Facebook friendings, and the requirement that they submit to creepy contact with men in certain situations while maintaining silence and a smile. Also, many end up doing a ton of work for free. Who knew?

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  1. Well there are millions of people out here living lives of silent degradation, but I guess we don't matter because we're unattractive.

    I guess it's more tragic for them because they bear the additional burdens of being young, perky, and attractive.

  2. I was pretty prepared to give this a big 'meh'. I know people that have had model contracts, which are a pretty ugly thing, but when you have a superficial profession, you can't be shocked that the terms all revolve around superficial stuff. I was surprised to find it far more horrific than I expected. I find the whole thing pretty revolving and it says something about our society that such jobs even exist.

    That said, as disgusted as I am by the culture that produces this, I struggle to muster up much in the way of sympathy for the actual cheerleaders. You don't become a professional NFL cheerleader by accident or because you can't get another job. If you meet the crazy qualifications to be an NFL cheerleader, you meet the qualification for a pile of other less horrific jobs. This is the kind of crazy you have to choose. These are not migrant crop pickers who have literally no choice and actually deserve sympathy for the shitty hand life has dealt them. These are people intentionally grasping at some sort of fame and eating shit to get there. It looks horrible, but the obvious solution is to just... you know... stop eating shit. If you can beat out the horrific competition to get on one of these squads, there are piles of other things you could choose to do instead.

  3. I am very appalled at the misogyny in this comment section.

    So the cheerleaders have been characterized (by several commenters here) as gold diggers, workers who are "asking for it", and dumb people (as in FEMALE "people") who are "not very good at negotiating contracts and rates". The cheerleaders aren't actually performing a skilled job that requires years of dance and gymnastic training - under extremely exploitative working conditions ? For teams that pay certain players MILLIONS of dollars per season ? WTF Commenter Dudes of BB ?

    I think there is a whole lot wrong with North American sports culture - and mainstream culture as a whole. That does not somehow excuse the behaviour of the teams that employ cheerleaders.

    How did this go from a discussion of how extremely exploitative the working conditions are - and the lawsuits begun on this basis - to a dismissal of the women who are cheerleaders as less than human ? Who should "know better" ?

  4. Thank you.

    Just because you think the job is worthless and don't understand why someone would want to do it doesn't mean they shouldn't be paid a fair wage for their work.

    Likewise "It's a job they enjoy and chose to do" is also not a reason to not pay a fair wage. If it were, I (and a lot of you) would also be working for free.

    "She's pretty" is not a good reason not to be paid a fair wage. "Her job is sexist" is not a good reason to not be paid a fair wage.

    Need I go on?

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