I guess I always assumed that NFL cheerleaders were reasonably well-compensated for the rather significant role they play for most teams. Of course I was wrong.
The Jets are Gang “Not a Lot of” Green when it comes to paying their cheerleaders, a new lawsuit charges.
The suit, filed by a former Jets cheerleader identified in court papers as Krystal C., says she was paid an average of $3.77 an hour for her time on the Flight Crew — or $1.50 an hour after out-of-pocket expenses.
“The Jets, while paying millions of dollars to its male athletes for a single season of work, have historically and currently pay less than minimum wage to its cheerleading staff,” the Bergen County, N.J. lawsuit says.
“We didn’t complain because we were always told how lucky we were to be able to perform and we were lucky,” Krystal told the Daily News. “But I didn’t think it was right to pay us so little when we all worked so hard and we were 100% there all the time.”
Her deal called for her to be paid $150 per game and $100 for special events — but that didn’t take into account the full cheer schedule.
She loved the fans and her fellow Flight Crew members. She gave a lot of thought to taking this step.
“The cheerleaders are required to work ‘off the clock’ at home, attend rehearsals three days a week from May through December without pay, attend ‘charity events’ without pay, and are required to spend their own money on travel, uniform maintenance and cosmetic and hairstyling requirements set by the Jets,” the suit says.
They’re also required to show up three and a half hours before game time, and to stay 30 minutes after the end of the game, the suit says.
Practices were held three times a week, and lasted about three hours, and the cheerleaders were required to keep practicing at home, the suit says.
They were also required “to maintain a specific personal appearance, including hair style, make up and nail appearance,” all at their own “personal expense,” the suit says.
And the lesson is to always assume workers are getting screwed over. Always. Because you are rarely going to be wrong.