So there I was this morning flicking through my Tumblr account checking out all the latest posts many of which are by the show biz commentator Perez Hilton (PZ). First off I cannot believe how much stuff this guy posts up on all platforms of social media. Incredible. This other issue is the disclosure of the fact that I follow Mr PZ on Tumblr. Oh well, it done now so time to move on.
This particular post my wife came across also and it became an instant topic of conversation for us this morning. In short the post highlighted the fact there is a growing number of Cheerleaders in the America’s National Football League (the NFL) who are starting to take a stand against low pay and poor working conditions. Check out the article to start to get a handle on what the issues are but in short cheerleaders in the NFL are routinely paid below the minumum wage, have a range of work related expenses that they are expected to pay for themselves, in some cases work upto 20 extra hours a week without pay as well as undertake a tough fitness and rehersal routine, some might say as tough as the football players.
Whether you believe Cheerleading should even be a part of sport is in itself is a massive discussion but the fact of the matter is that Cheerleadering in American Football is a huge part of the whole entertainment package. Arguably, they are as important and the actual football itself. Not just the fans in the stadium the NFL has an absolutely massive global audience. Every break in play, half time show, when points are scored the TV camera’s instantly cut to the Cheerleaders doing their cheer routines. Right or wrong, Cheerleading is synomimous with the NFL brand and entertainment package that is comsumed by an enourmous global TV audience, generating billions of dollors annually for the NFL. For example, players within the NFL in many cases only need to sign a contract and they are financially secure for the rest of their lives. That is just signed, they don’t even have to have played. When put into that context its even more surprising/shocking that cheerleaders in many cases arent even paid the minimum wage let alone all the other employment issues. If you think about any other employee who would help make the game day experience a success weren’t for example paid the minimum wage e.g. fast food vendors, security, cleaners then there would be out rage. The difference is the work required by Cheerleaders to make it into an NFL Cheerleading squad and to maintain that position is massive. Plus, being such an integeral componant within an NFL entertainment product for me means that Cheerleaders in the NFL, for what its worth get my support on this matter and they are absolutley right to fight for much better pay and conditions.
Do I think Cheerleading has its issues with the way women are represented to in the male dominated world of the NFL. Yes of course! But, should Cheerleaders get much better pay and conditions in recognition of all that they do to contribute to the massively successful NFL brand. Hell yeah! The very best of luck to them in their fight.
What do you think??????