Former members of the Buffalo Jills, the Cheerleading squad for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills have recently sued the NFL and two other companies to whom the Bills have outsourced the management of their cheerleaders. The suit alleges that the Bills and their vendors:
- Violated minimum wage laws with mandatory and “volunteer” (read: mandatory) practices and event appearances
- Committed unlawful kickbacks and deductions from their paychecks
- Did not adequately compensate for mandatory travel or cosmetics costs
- Subjected the cheerleaders to bizarre hygiene rules and sexual harassment
The RAPE CULTURE BROS, predictably, have been out in full force in Buffalo because cheerleaders are objects and god damn it, they will stay that way.
The prestige argument was also made, that is that the prestige of being an NFL cheerleader is payment enough and perfectly excuses their employer to treat them illegally, like crap, or both. Which is ironic considering that these idiots probably couldn’t name a single cheerleader if you spotted them an entire game of hangman, and considering that prestige tends to come with respect. That’s kind of in the definition of the word actually.
To me this is a black and white legal issue. Were the Cheerleaders compensated and treated in accordance with the applicable laws, yes or no. (Or, if we need to go there, are those laws built to take advantage of employees by allowing their employers to coerce them into working “voluntarily” without pay / do they allow those employers to subject their employees to sexual harassment without recourse.)
It’s amazing how quickly people turned this into a debate over whether or not someone deserves to be treated like shit because “that’s what they signed up for” (allegedly, since we don’t have a Buffalo Jills contract in front of us), or because that’s what they perceive to be the nature of the job, or (maybe most accurately), they feel victimized for not having a claim to female sexuality and want to see women suffer for it.
Show me your tits god damn it, that’s what you’re here for!
You know, maybe sports isn’t as much of a male arena as Men’s Rights Activists claim if men need half naked gyrating women to hold their attention at a sporting event.
In any event, I hope the Jills win their lawsuit, and I hope the other cheerleading teams that have filed suits win theirs. Fairly paid, fairly treated cheerleaders should be beneficial to both those that enjoy seeing cheerleaders and those that find the concept to be a little bit icky.