Everyone in the United States knows about the NFL. A lot of people are avid NFL fans, but I am not. Although, I do pay attention to the cheerleaders, and it’s recently come to my attention of the reality that happens behind the scenes. Here are some of the crazy rules that the NFL cheerleaders must follow.
Cheerleaders must adhere to a strict dress code even when they aren’t working. According to TheThings.com, cheerleaders must follow a dress code which includes not wearing sweatpants. Cheerleaders aren’t allowed to drive in their uniforms, so they must change before leaving. Also, they aren’t allowed to walk around the stadium in their street clothes, so as soon as they are changed, they must leave.
Cheerleaders have an extremely strict no fraternization with the players’ rule. As with any job, co-workers should maintain a professional relationship with one another; however, cheerleaders have a zero contact rule. According to TheThings.com and BusinessInsider.com, Cheerleaders are not to have any public, private, or social relationships with any of the players. If a player follows a cheerleader on social media, she must block the player or she could be fired. To add even more to this rule, if a cheerleader is eating at a restaurant and a player walks in, the cheerleader must leave.
As if having a strict dress code and rules about being around players aren’t bad enough, the ladies must talk in a certain way. According to TheThings.com, in the cheerleader handbook, it states that the ladies have no right to complain or express their opinion. They also have to refrain from using slang or gossiping.
With all these strict rules, cheerleaders must make big bucks, right? Wrong! Cheerleaders make only 10 dollars per hour or less while the players earn around 2 million per year. The NFL generates around 10 billion dollars of revenue each year, but only pay their cheerleaders 10 dollars or less every hour? That doesn’t include all the hours practicing or the events that they are required to show up to. Some of which they don’t even get paid for. On top of that, some cheerleaders are required to show up five hours before kick-off, according to BusinessInsider.com. Cheerleaders make the least amount of money at a game. Both the hot dog vendors and the mascots make more money than any of the cheerleaders.
No sudden change in appearance can be made on any of the cheerleaders. Understandably, cheerleaders can’t make drastic changes in their appearance because of the things they have to do on the field. But some cheer teams have gone to the point of only allowing the ladies to attend approved salons. This includes their weight. According to both BusniessInsider.com and TheThings.com cheerleaders have to stay within three pounds of their ideal body weight which can be considered as their audition weight. If a cheerleader is above the ideal weight, she can either have her entire pay docked or be suspended from either a game or the team.
They get fined if they bring the wrong pom poms. According to the BusinessInsider.com, Oakland Raider cheerleaders can get their entire days pay docked if they bring the wrong pompoms, fail to polish their boots, or forget part of their uniforms. Not to mention that the cheerleaders have to pay for their own uniform out of pocket.
Cheerleaders can’t tell people that they are affiliated with their teams. According to BusinessInsider.com and TheThings.com, some NFL managers are extremely strict about their teams reputation to the point that cheerleaders cannot mention that they are cheerleaders for whatever team they are on.
There are so many rules for the cheerleaders of the NFL that the ladies must follow or they could lose their job. The NFL players do not have any rules like those of the cheerleaders that they must abide by. Due to all of these strict and insane rules, some cheerleaders have been wrongfully terminated. Many lawsuits have been filed against NFL teams by the cheerleaders ranging from equal pay to gender discrimination. I really hope that the ladies of the NFL get recognition and the pay that they rightfully deserve.