According to a report, the cheerleading squad for the Oakland Raiders is suing the team, accusing the Raiders of wage theft and other unfair employment practices.
The San Jose Mercury News reported the filing of the suit in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of current and former members of the cheerleading squad, known as the Raiderettes.
The attorney for the women, Sharon Vinick, said the Raiders withhold pay from the cheerleaders until the season is over and engages in other unfair labor practices, including not paying for all hours worked and leaving the women to pay many of their own business expenses.
“The club controls our hairstyle and makeup and we have to foot the bill,” said the lead plaintiff in the case, identified only as Lacy T. “We also have to pay the costs for traveling to all kinds of events, including photo shoots … I love the Raiders and I love being a Raiderette, but someone has to stand up for all of the women of the NFL who work so hard for the fans and the teams.”
I know the immediate reaction from most fans (guys, I’m looking squarely at you). But it is work to be a cheerleader, just as it’s work to be an athlete. Some fans have this idea that the players only work 16 days a year; that gamedays are the only things that ever happen.
But the cheerleaders, like the players, have practices, rehearsals and other team-scheduled commitments and if the allegations are true, considering it’s the 21st century, the team really ought to think about treating their employees as if it is, in fact, a time when everyone is equal.
The players would be fairly miffed if the team decided to withhold their game checks until Week 17 … and they make a heckuva lot more than the $1,250 per year the cheerleaders are paid … except when, allegedly, they aren’t paid.