Should the NFL review its use of cheerleaders?

Should the NFL review its use of cheerleaders?

It was announced this week that Formula 1’s new owners are looking into whether the sport should continue to use ‘grid girls’, with Managing Director Ross Brawn saying that the use of female promotional models is a “delicate topic” which is “under strong review”.

The reason for the review is down to a difference of opinion. Many respect the tradition and others feel it’s a bit dated. Chase Carey, F1’s CEO said “What we need to do is get as many points of view as possible and make a decision right for the future of the sport.” – This I believe can only be a positive thing, regardless of the outcome.

Personally, I grew up watching motor sport with my Dad and sister, and having ‘grid girls’ is normality. It doesn’t offend me. But when I heard about this on the news whilst driving home it made me think about whether the NFL should be considering the same when it comes to cheerleaders.

In 1954 The Baltimore Colts became the first NFL team to have cheerleaders. They were part of the Baltimore Colts Marching Band, and today, 26 of the 32 NFL teams include a cheerleading squad in their franchise. The teams without include Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, the New York Giants and finally the Pittsburgh Steelers. Each of these teams, except for Browns and Giants, has previously had a cheerleading squad. I’d love to know what changed for the teams to decide to no longer have one, and perhaps that’s for a future article…

In terms of what they do, the role the cheerleaders play in the sport – well, they help rally support for the team. They practice hard there’s no doubt about that. They cheer at games, attend appearances and photo shoots, charity events and so on.

I guess the elements I don’t agree with is the swimsuit/lingerie calendars and the uniform. Especially the uniform actually. These poor girls are out there in the tiniest outfits in winter. If ‘sexy’ is the aim of the NFL teams, then believe me, they can be in an all in one, keeping warm and still look sexy!

Personally, it doesn’t bother me whether we have cheerleaders or don’t, after all, I watch NFL for the game, not the entertainment – but I’d certainly be intrigued as to whether others feel it’s time for it to be reviewed.

5 thoughts on “Should the NFL review its use of cheerleaders?

  1. With NFL, I don’t mind the cheerleaders. They have a role and don’t just stand around. They have to train hard to do what they do. I watched the darts last night and the “Will Hill” girls walk BEHIND the darts players on the way to the other, then stand around for a bit, then leave…. now Darts isn’t as high profile, but is growing, surely sports like that should be the first to set any new tone

  2. The squads would be devastated if they were suddenly band for no fault of their own. They love what they do and are a bit of fun while the breaks in the game take place. I disagree that they are made to stand out in the cold. Most have leggings jackets and hats on when it’s too cold. They also go out to the troops and attend charity events. Cheerleaders are s good thing in sport as far as I’m concerned.

  3. Keep the Cheerleaders !!
    Why not ? They are paid extremely well, they work hard, they are athletes !! But, mainly their part of the game, as much as beer, hotdogs and tailgating ! And before any goes off on one, I’m not comparing them to a piece of food or meat, I mean they are an essential part of the whole package, and when they’re missing (I’m a giants fan I know !!) it just doesn’t feel right. It’s tradition , no one is getting hurt, they’re being put down by anyone, tell me a guy in the stadium who hasn’t wanted a cheerleader in their life , or a girl who hasn’t wanted to be one ! Their glamorous, they’re talented, and they are needed !! If you ask me…..

    1. Liz asked about why teams stopped having cheerleaders and in the Bills case it is because the team were in trouble for not paying the performers the minimum wage and so the millionaire owners decided they’d rather not have them than actually pay them decent money, so I think you’re wrong to say that they are paid well.

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