How the NFL Could Save Cheerleading
Treating cheerleaders like pro athletes could go a long way in fixing the sport.
Professional football is a sport and the men that play it are treated as well-conditioned athletes.
If the NFL wants to save cheerleading – which has come under fire recently and even generated lawsuits – it needs to start treating that as a sport too as well as begin to treat the women that participate in it as athletes.
According to a number of former NFL cheerleaders, pro cheerers need to be regarded as part of the team the same way amateurs are considered part of the athletic program and treated like any other student-athlete at high schools and colleges.
They also think teams need to eliminate weigh-ins and put the emphasis on dance ability instead of body type. Also, making it a full-time position with medical benefits and the chance to speak out about workplace conditions would go a long way in keeping cheerleading alive.
“If the NFL does away with us, then we are just taking a step backwards,” said ex-New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis. “It shows the rest of the world that the NFL does not care about women, that we have no voice. I surely hope that a dad would not bring his daughter to an NFL game if they did away with cheerleaders because they didn’t want to deal with women.”
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