NFL cheerleaders must maintain “an ideal body weight,” engage in the “proper use of tampons” and refrain from wearing sweatpants in public, according to a new report detailing the strict rules imposed on cheerleaders around the league.
The New York Times reported teams such as the Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers lay out strict rules for the women to follow.
Everything is up for grabs, according to the report, including the women’s personal hygiene, dating life and wardrobe. A few handbooks reviewed by The Times revealed tips including “shaving techniques, the proper use of tampons” and prohibiting women from wearing sweatpants in public.
Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders were weighed regularly in order to ensure they were “maintaining the ideal body weight,” a handbook from 2009 stated. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals told their cheerleaders to be within “three pounds of their ideal weight.”
The Bengals told The New York Times the team changed their guidelines and no longer have weight requirements. The Ravens and the NFL declined to comment
Carolina Panthers cheerleaders, known as TopCats, are required to show up five hours before the game begins, take water breaks only when the team is on the offense and change from their uniforms only after they leave the stadium.
Pay is also a problem for the cheerleaders. The dancers receive barely more than minimum wage but are required to spend hundreds on their uniforms. Many are also required to attend charity events to help sell tickets and calendars — yet they receive none of the proceeds.
The NFL needs to fix this latest in a series of PR blunders. How could these girls expect to follow all these rules, for little or no pay. I might understand if they were making millions, instead of pennies on the dollar. For Cheerleaders, it really does sound like the NO FUN LEAGUE.