The concept that NFL Cheerleaders must be getting paid alot and enjoy a luxury life, is not true. Every cheerleader squad in NFL has amature and elite girls who get paid differently depending on the experience. We take a look at how much they get paid.
In 2014 the news about NFL Cheerleders getting paid below the minimum wage salary was all over internet and there was also a lawsuit by a cheerleader of “Oakland Raiders” which resulted in court making sure that Oakland Raiders are paying atleast the minimum wage. So today we take a indepth look at NFL cheerleaders wage structure what is the minimum wage going into 2017 and how much an average cheerleader can make through course of a season.
We start with the example of recent lawsuit by a cheerleader of Oakland Raiders named “Lucy T” made headlines when she filed a law suit that team is paying below the minimum hourly wages to cheerleaders. She was reticulated in the media and even her fellow cheerleaders blasted her for breaking the sisterhood. But she alongside a few more managed to win the lawsuit which resulted in “$1.25 million settlement”
According to the previous contract Raiderettes were paid $5 an hour for their services which is ofcourse below minimum wage and after the law suit a new contract was signed where average cheerleader from Oakland Raiders will get $9 hourly salary. This $9 hour salary include training, and working hours needed to practice for the matchday. Apparently there is also a match fee which is around $60 to $70 for the armature cheerleaders and between $100 to $200 for elite ones. There were number of other similar law suit filled against teams such as Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers some of them are still not resolved while other teams decided to increase the wages to minimum required by the state.
How Much a Cheerleader Can Make In a Season ?
The salary is different from team to team and the kind of experience and contract a cheerleader has with the team. Almost all the teams have elite(main leads) and armature(Supporting). Following is the know wages plus match fees they get.
|Hourly Wage||Match Fees||Season Income|
|Elite(Main) Leaders of the squads||$9 to $15||$100 to $200||$3000 to $3500|
|Supporting Cheerleader||$9||$60 to $70||$1500 to $2000|
The job and the demand:
Professional cheerleading is more than the game time and halftime, they are needed to be in shape at all times and have to follow strict fitness and weight scale. They have to follow the practice sessions leading upto the game week plus photoshoots and autograph signings as well.
Off the pitch activities:
Many Cheerleaders are picked from every team to represent in the official teams appearances, photoshoots and the other paid gigs for example selling teams official merchandise etc. They can also use this as platform which some of the girls use to make contact and move to other professional careers. There are number of famous hollywood and TV stars who were professional cheerleaders in their younger days, for example the likes of Teri Hatcher, Megan Fox are just the two names out of many.
Some interesting facts about cheerleaders:
- Most of them are students and doing cheerleading stuff as a part time job while some are working mothers who wants to make that extra buck and also keep in shape.
- The average age of NFL cheerleaders is around 25 years
- The first ever cheerleader squad was of Baltimore Colts which was established in 1954
- Some of the cheerleaders are highly educated, for example Dr. Jennifer Horrel Page is a qualified doctor while Rachel Peterson is chemical engineer.