Without a doubt, the NFL has been in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons in the past couple of years. Between the national anthem protests, the concussion issues, and the fiasco surrounding deflated footballs, the NFL would undoubtedly like to bask in the glory of the season’s end; however, this proves only to be a pipe-dream. The NFL was recently hit by a lawsuit filed by cheerleaders demanding higher wages.
This has been an ongoing issue in the NFL even if it doesn’t receive the same type of media coverage as the issues that were mentioned above.
The cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers make up a group of cheerleaders that have filed a lawsuit demanding higher wages from NFL teams. In total, the group of cheerleaders represents 26 of the 32 NFL franchises. People should note that the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears do not have cheerleaders. While the cheerleaders certainly aren’t demanding to be paid like the athletes on the field, they point to the mascots for the NFL teams who make somewhere between $25,000 and $60,000 depending on the team. The cheerleaders state that it simply isn’t fair that the mascot receives that kind of compensation in comparison to the work the cheerleaders put in.
The lawsuit has cast a shadow over the Super Bowl which was recently played in Houston, Texas. While the other issues may have already done that, the cheerleaders make a claim that the NFL has successfully manipulated the market to avoid paying its cheerleaders fair wages. Some people might be surprised to learn that this isn’t the first time the NFL has been sued by its cheerleaders. in 2014, the Oakland Raiders were the target of a lawsuit filed by its cheerleaders who were being paid less than $5 per hour at the time. The lawsuit was eventually settled or over $1.25 million.
In the past couple of years, there have been protections for cheerleaders enacted in the state of California; however, this lawsuit looks to institute changes that will happen on a league-wide level. It remains to be seen how the NFL will cope with this most recent distraction.