Is it Time for the NFL to End Cheerleading Squads?
I know a few wonderful, fantastic and fun people who have been NFL Cheerleaders. None of them made it a career, but rather used it as a springboard into bigger and better things.
I'm guessing that most of the ladies who have been or are currently working for NFL teams in the role of cheerleader do it for that exact reason. It's an opportunity that opens doors that may or may not be available to them without the job on their resume.
Which is why it saddens me to say it's time to eliminate Cheerleaders from the NFL. It's not their fault, they all do their jobs well and in many cases do it without incident and do a wonderful job of Public Relations for the teams they represent.
But after the latest report about the NFL's culture of how they treat some cheerleaders, a change is needed.
New York Times writer and Friend of the OSG Juliet Macur produced an absolutely shocking story about the Washington Redskins Cheerleading squad containing stories that sound like they come from a Grade Z level, low budget horror movie.
Macur's story in the Times, which you can read by clicking RIGHT HERE
The story documents a trip taken by the 2013 squad to Costa Rica for their "Calendar" photo shoot.
It describes an event at a remote tropical resort where the ladies were only paid travel costs, meals and lodging where they were essentially isolated from the world and had groups of leering Redskins "Season Ticket VIP's" watching them while the posed, often topless or in body paint at various locations around the resort.
To make matters worse, there are allegations the Squad's Director informed several of them AFTER their shoots they were selected to "Personally Escort" some of those same VIP's to a nearby nightclub.
There's more, much, much more---but I recommend you read Macur's story....
This comes not long after a legal brew-ha-ha with a New Orleans Saints Cheerleader sued the team after being fired for a post on Instagram showing her in what the team considered a revealing outfit and a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader filed a discrimination complaint saying she was subjected to a hostile work environment due to her religious beliefs.
Listen, I get why cheerleaders exist. They aren't dumb, they know part of the job is to appeal to men watching the games both on and off the field. And like I said, for many the job is a springboard to a dance or modeling career. Most teams have strict rules keeping the girls from fraternizing or starting a relationship with players. And I have no issue with that.
But the more stories that come out about the Draconian pay, the highly sexualized environments and the treatment by the millionaire fans and billionaire owners come out, the more the whole thing should be either (a) reconsidered and dropped or (b) regulated or overseen by the NFL, neither of which will happen.
But when is enough, enough? How many of you actually watch what the cheerleaders do during a game? Yeah, sure if you're watching on TV, they are a standard cutaway shot used by directors and producers throughout the production but I'm talking about during the game?
Even with the glacially slow pace of play in Football, how much time is spent watching the Cheerleaders as opposed to actual game action?
I really hope someone comes up with a fair and equitable way to treat Cheerleaders as something more than titilating, sex object---I really do. But if they don't---it may be time to do away with them.
Sorry, you may not agree or like the idea but somehow, someway....if Cheerleaders continue to exist they need to be there for Community Relations, Charity Work and to Rally support for the team.
Nothing more....nothing less