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Lawsuit gives us revealing look at NFL cheerleaders

- February 13th, 2014

ben-gals

So, think you know NFL cheerleaders?

Guess again, gentlemen.

Unless you were quick to point out that cheerleaders — at least those employed by the Cincinnati Bengals — are expressly prohibited from wearing panties. Yes, you read that right.

“No panties are to be worn under practice clothes or uniform, not even thong panties. Wear pantyhose to match skin tone,” the Ben-Gals cheerleaders regulations say.

Also not allowed are “slouching breasts.” Cheerleaders must make sure everything is, uh, high and tight. No slackers allowed, girls.

“Support as needed. Black or nude seamless bra mandatory for games. (No lace),” the regs say.

How is it that these juicy little nuggets of pretty much useless information are coming to light? Well, one of the Ben-Gals, Alexa Brenneman, has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Bengals for allegedly violating federal employment laws. The suit was filed Tuesday in Cincy.

A report by Cincinnati.com says Brenneman claims she was paid $2.85 an hour — the Ohio minimum wage in 2013 was $7.85 an hour.

The lawsuit has pulled aside the curtain to reveal plenty of behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into being an NFL cheerleader. Like the no panties or slouching breasts rules.

Other Ben-Gals tidbits:

  • cheerleaders must stay within three pounds of their “goal weight” or will be required to stay late for an extra 30 minutes of “extra conditioning.” Sounds like what we called detention in high school.
  • insubordination “to even the slightest degree” will result in benching or dismissal.
  • chewing gum during a “function, job or charity event” is a no-no, too. Could lead to firing.
  • DO NOT wear the uniform while driving. Clearly that’s a safety issue so other drivers don’t crash while staring.
  • and “absolutely no one is permitted to go into the back closet in the gym.” Hmm, maybe that’s where the cheerleader secrets are kept. Or the bodies.

So there you have it. The rules for being a Ben-Gals cheerleader. Don’t you feel smarter, now?

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2 comments

  1. diane todd | February 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Prior to both lawsuits (Raiderettes & Ben-Gals), I created a petition on Change.org (NFL Teams: Pay Your Cheerleaders A Living Wage) geared towards: Helping NFL Cheerleaders achieve a “living” wage, and to 2) Gain more exposure for Cheerleading, with the hope of making it an official sport, bringing long overdue recognition & safety into it.

    Petition is geared towards the 26 NFL teams that have cheerleading squads to commit to paying their cheerleaders a living wage for the work they do contribute to their respective franchises and the National Football League as a whole.

    The reason why I started this petition is due to my 14-year old daughter who is a middle-school, competition cheer leader; during one of her football games she was cheering a parent asked; “What’s the average salary of an NFL Cheerleader?” I became so angry over the pay injustice that I created this petition which has reached over 121,000+ supporters, and is growing strong!

    Perhaps an industry that makes BILLIONS and pays these women below minimum wage doesn’t deserve their TAX FREE STATUS, as I’m unclear why enjoying what you do enables your employer to take unfair advantage of you, require you to work long hours at no pay, and interfere with your life outside of work. A signed contract with ILLEGAL terms is null and void; for those that do not agree, perhaps you would feel differently if subjected to this yourself, where then we could tell you it’s your fault.

    Please let the NFL Cheerleaders know that we do appreciate them; READ, SIGN, and FORWARD the petition to others if you agree, as your signature can make a difference!

    Link to petition :> http://www.change.org/NFLCheerleaders

  2. KT | February 17, 2014 at 11:44 am

    WOW they are workign for free? 90 bucks a game is worse then valenteer at the local hospital a t least hopitals they feed valenteers!. For gods sakes. you pay the athlets millions of dollars but pay these Cheerleaders 90 bucks a game? adn they have to put up going through selections and practices and all that? That is wrong. I can see why they sue. its illegal in many ways. rules has to follow the labor law also. time for change . they should get paid at least 50K a year!

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