How Much Does a Cheerleader Get?


    The cheerleaders of Oakland’s football team, the Oakland Raiders, who play in American football’s top professional league, the National Football League (NFL) — filed a lawsuit to the club accusing them of withholding their salaries until the end of the season, of not having paid all the hours worked in the last four seasons and of forcing them to face many of the expenses incurred for work out of their own pockets. The lawyer who defends the Raiderettes, Sharon Vinick, argues that the Raiders already owe a lot of money from past seasons to the cheerleaders, to which must be added the thousands of dollars they owe to this season: «it is as if the Raiders believe that the laws in defense of California workers,” Vinick said, “do not apply to cheerleaders.”

    According to the Raiderettes’ employment contract – as reported in the lawsuit filed by attorney Vinick in the Alameda County court in California – each cheerleader who performs in the stadium during a Raiders game is paid $125 per game, regardless of the number hours worked; on matchdays, the Raiderettes work a total of about nine hours a day, to which must be added the hours worked the rest of the week not only for rehearsals and training, but also for other performances and appearances between including many photo sessions, various meetings and other meetings.

    A Raiderette who cannot perform on match day for any reason is not paid. This also applies if it is not selected following a decision by the artistic director, the one who from time to time chooses which NFL cheerleaders will perform during the match: the “discarded” cheerleader must in any case remain available to the team for any other performances on the sidelines of the match. game or during half-time, but is still paid only if it is actually used. According to reports from cheerleaders suing the Raiders, the Raiderettes – aside from stadium performances – are required to perform an average of 300 more times (or more) during the season, for charity or other events. so they are often not paid.

    All in all, the total salary of a Raiders cheerleader is $1,250 a season (about $914), which is just under $5 an hour ($3.65), counting all the hours they work. this activity. However, according to the indictment, the Raiders withhold cheerleaders’ salaries until the end of the NFL season, which is more or less until January (the Super Bowl will be played on February 2nd). And then there’s a whole host of fines that cheerleaders can incur, and in case they have to pay entirely out of their own pocket.

    Every week the cheerleader is required to show up for training: there are two sessions – but often three – a week, about three hours each. Anyone who arrives late even by a few minutes for three consecutive times – or arrives late only once but for more than 15 minutes – makes up for an “absence”; anyone who accumulates a certain number of absences must pay a fine, which corresponds to a certain amount deducted from their salary: the fourth absence triggers a deduction of 40 dollars, the ninth absence triggers a deduction of 380 dollars.

    Cheerleaders are also fined if they show up to practice in the wrong uniforms, or with the wrong pom poms, or without a practice mat, all items for which they are personally responsible: if they are lost or damaged or someone steals them, they must pay for those too. Other expenses they have to deal with on their own are travel costs (they often have to perform far from Oakland) and hair and cosmetics before the games.

    The US magazine Atlantic has explored the Raiderettes episode and provided other examples of the salary of cheerleaders from other NFL teams. These are always part-time jobs, writes the Atlantic , and some companies require girls to have other forms of income and other jobs besides cheerleading.

    San Diego Chargers cheerleaders get $75 a game, plus two free tickets and a parking pass. The Baltimore Ravens get $100 for every ten home game performances; they must also report five hours before the start of the match, and must participate in the two weekly practice sessions, of three hours each, which take place from April to January each year (and there is also a summer training camp in June ). 

    The cheerleaders of the Dallas Cowboys, one of the NFL’s best-known and coveted corps, get $150 a game, and they aren’t paid for rehearsals either (which are said to be particularly tough and demanding). To give an idea of ​​the amount of money that circulates in the NFL environment – the one reserved for player salaries – the Atlantic points out, for example, that the basic salary of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is 11 million and half a dollar a year.