To woo TV viewers and attract sponsors, the N.F.L. turned its cheerleaders into sex objects, and the women have paid a steep price. Now, they’re fighting back
The N.F.L. did not accept a proposal from two former cheerleaders to drop their gender-discrimination complaints for $1 each by Friday’s deadline, but the league did agree to hear recommendations to improve conditions.
The lawyer representing two former N.F.L. cheerleaders who recently filed discrimination claims against the league has made a settlement proposal: If her clients can have a four-hour, “good faith” meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell and league lawyers, they will settle all claims for $1 each.
A new film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday questions whether an NFL team was hypocritical in demanding that its cheerleaders maintain a wholesome image while decidedly selling their sex appeal to fans.
Galen Summer directs this short documentary that tells the 1978 story of a group of NFL cheerleaders who, after receiving approval from their respective teams, posed for Playboy magazine and ended up dealing with the repercussions that came once the magazine hit the stands.
Cheerleaders for professional sports teams are often dancers with backgrounds in ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop and tap. After beating out dozens of other dancers for the job, they have a chance to show off the athletic and dancing skills they have honed for years.
Cheerleaders for the Carolina Panthers, known as the TopCats, must arrive at the stadium on game days at least five hours before kickoff. Body piercings and tattoos must be removed or covered. Water breaks can be taken only when the Panthers are on offense. TopCats must leave the stadium to change into their personal attire.
Like a lot of people in their 20s, Bailey Davis has an Instagram account. And as a cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints, Davis said, she followed team rules and made the page private so only people she approved could see what she posted.