Ridiculous, Sexist NFL Cheerleading Requirements

You might not find some of these requirements to be that ridiculous but keep in mind, everything on this list football players, baseball players, soccer players and any other male-dominated sports team would never be asked to do. Many of you might know from the Bring it On series that cheerleading isn’t just about looking pretty and actually tests your gymnastics and acrobatic capabilities, so degrading women in cheerleading belittles all of the hard work they put in for performances.

1. They Are Put Through A "Jiggle Test" Before Games

Not all cheerleading teams use the “jiggle test,” but most teams have specific tests laid out to make sure their cheerleaders have a specific body type. The Buffalo Jills method subjected cheerleaders to weekly "jiggle tests." During these “physique evaluations,” cheerleaders did jumping jacks while coaches judged their stomachs, butts and limbs based on how much they jiggled. If they failed these “jiggle tests,” even if they had the ability to keep up with routines, they were suspended or dismissed.

2. Cheerleaders Are Required To Attend Events In Which They Wear Bikinis And Are Auctioned Off

At the Jills Annual Golf Tournament, a group of cheerleaders were required to wear bikinis and sit in a dunk tank. Other cheerleaders were auctioned off to the highest bidder, at which point they had to escort the winner around. Cheerleaders were also forced to sit on the laps of golfers, as there was not enough room in the golf carts.

3. Handbooks Warn Cheerleaders To Avoid Assault And Rape, As it May Ruin Their Reputation

If this doesn’t freak you out, I don’t know what will. The handbook basically discourages cheerleaders from socializing with players because they could be assaulted and/or raped, thus ruining their reputation. The logic is obviously very backwards and very dated.

4. Handbooks Provide Instructions On How To Properly Speak

The handbook for the Buffalo Jills instructs cheerleaders to never use words or phrases like “I seen it,” “you’s guys,” “dude,” “them guys,” “ain't” and “pee.” They also must avoid the topics of religion, politics, sexual references and the previous night. This might not seem like a lot but imagine not being able to tell anyone you have to pee. Or even worse imagine not being able to have control just simply over how you talk.

5. Cheerleaders Are Required To Follow A Strict Dress Code, Even While Off The Field

The handbook for the Ben-Gals states, “Stay away from frosted lipsticks and eyeshadows. Management will determine your proper color analysis." It also adds, "Glamour is a priority!"

In 2018, a New Orleans Saints cheerleader was terminated for a number of violations, one of which included posting a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a lacy bodysuit. The outfit was deemed to fall under the classification "nude, semi-nude or lingerie," forbidden in the cheerleader handbook. Even though the post wasn’t affiliated with the NFL team, they still pushed that as a representative of the NFL, she was required to present herself in whatever way they saw best fit.

6. After Following All Of These Rules, Cheerleaders Are Compensated With As Little As $5 Per Hour

The reason many lawsuits are brought against specific franchises is that the cheerleaders make so little that it is illegal. In some reported cases, cheerleaders make as little as $5 per hour. Teams have seemingly gotten away with his practice by paying cheerleaders per event. Cheerleaders will make somewhere between $90 - $125 for appearing at a football game. Cheerleaders will also make money for paid events, though they are required to also attend charity events for which they aren’t compensated.

Would you want to be an NFL cheerleader?

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