Does the NFL discriminate against cheerleaders? | The Tylt
Does the NFL discriminate against cheerleaders?
Kareem Abdul-Jabar argues the NFL is doing nothing to help cheerleaders who are groped and harassed, while also firing them if their social media photos are deemed inappropriate, is just one more example in a long list of their paternalistic, stuck-in-the-1950s behavior. They act like #MeToo hasn’t happened and as if labor laws don’t apply to the women who work for them.
The country would be outraged if a team’s rules stated that if a black player was eating at a restaurant and a white player walked in, the black player would have to leave the restaurant. Yet, those are the rules for Saints’ cheerleaders, who must leave a restaurant they are eating at if a Saints player arrives.... Other restrictions about weight, makeup, body hair, tampon use and forbidding sweatpants in public make it seem as if the Saints watched The Handmaid’s Tale and thought, “They just don’t go far enough.” In other words, shut up and jiggle.
Others say it's a free country: no one's forcing these women to be cheerleaders.
Am I the only one who thinks this should be left alone? Isn’t part of feminism being able to choose whatever life you want? If these women want to be cheerleaders and follow the rules that come along with it, why should we care?
Others say that while the NFL's rules for female cheerleaders and treatment of them is unfair, it's just the way of the business. The league can only do some much to help. They can't control the actions of millions of fans.
These comments are frustrating, but the truth is that our society puts a social premium on beauty for women. NFL Cheerleaders are partly in it for the notoriety - otherwise they would just join a dance troop. The teams know this and that’s why they get away with these rules.