One Saints Cheerleader's Lawsuit is Bringing Attention to Insane Team Rules
To watch an NFL Football game you'll see lots of game action, shots of billionaire rich guys sitting in their luxury boxes, shots of coaches and the crowd. But you'll see even MORE shots of the cheerleaders.
The cheerleaders are often young, attractive women in their 20's wearing often very revealing outfits there to generate enthusiasm among those in attendance and they are a favorite of TV Broadcast Production Directors as cutaway shots.
You'll see the happy young lady smiling really big, laughing happily and often shaking their pom-poms.
What you might not realize is many of them live and work under an incredibly complex and often antiquated set of rules.
Those rules are coming to the forefront now after an EEOC lawsuit was filed by now former New Orleans Saints Cheerleader Bailey Davis.
Davis says she was fired for a post on her team mandated "Private" Instagram page showing her wearing a one-piece outfit...
Davis's story is documented in the New York Times, you can read the entire story by clicking on the underlined link....
In the article it explains some crazy rules stating among other things: Cheerleaders must leave if they're in a restaurant and a player walks in. It doesn't matter if she was there first or not. Cheerleaders must not interact with players in anyway in person or online. Cheerleaders can't wear Saints gear anywhere other than work. Surprisingly there's no rule prohibiting eye contact between the two parties, though I suspect it's only because the Saints didn't think they could enforce it.
All that for a $10 an hour job....
Not lost on me...or anyone else who is aware of the marketing aspect surrounding team Cheerleaders is the huge amount of money teams make marketing them.
Swimsuit shoots, public appearances, videos and other public relations events. All of which are required.
What is alternately amazing and disappointing: These jobs are still fought for. The young ladies often use jobs like this as springboards to other jobs and I get that.
But why would you subject yourself to such objectification, shitty working conditions and poor pay for a team that clearly considers you disposable??
Davis's lawsuit has yet to be resolved and considering her TV and print media blitz, she's clearly looking for a PR advantage. But really all you have to do is read how Draconian the Saints rules for Cheerleaders are to understand how easy it will be for her to win.
In reality, the Saints are an NFL team. An NFL team with lots of money. And those entities don't lose in court very often. Which is and would be really disappointing.
Of course the NFL wants no part of this particular suit saying teams are teams, we're the NFL---two different things.
But the league also has an anti-discrimination policy in place for all of its teams, which are part of the group known as the NFL so that should be an interesting semantical argument.
And no it isn't the first time teams have had issues regarding their treatment of Cheerleaders.
I really hope Davis wins this case to help show just how mistreated these women can be. I also hope women will stop coming out for these jobs which are largely for show and in most cases one sided opportunities helping the team but not the individual.
Until the pay and rules are the same for Cheerleaders as they are for every other employee of an NFL Football team, there should be lawsuits like this and others just to let the NFL and its teams know they need to treat everyone the same, not like a property but just like any other person....