The National Football League (NFL) is one os the most profitable sports industries out there, generating more than $10 billion in yearly revenue. But while the average NFL player is paid some $2 million, NFL cheerleaders make much less. If that wasn’t enough, NFL cheerleaders are required to follow some of the most unthinkable rules within their profession. From only posting specific photos on social media to adhering to a very strict dress code, these are some of the more stringent rules NFL cheerleaders have to follow.
Thethings.com has recently shared that NFL cheerleaders are given no other choice but to buy their own uniforms. And since their costumes can be pretty expensive, adding up to some $500 each, they are sometimes required to pay it themselves. The rule seems baffling since some of them actually make the minimum wage. If that wasn’t enough, cheerleaders sometimes have to buy different pairs of uniforms that take the weather and the type of performance into consideration.
Having to adhere to a strict dress code while at work is not so surprising, but NFL cheerleaders’ dress guidelines are on an entirely different level. Apparently, when they are not working, NFL cheerleaders are not “allowed” to wear sweatpants. It is unclear why this rule is in place since cheerleaders don’t actually get endorsements and restricting deals as players do.
Though this rule does not necessarily apply for all NFL teams, some cheerleaders are actually not allowed to wear their uniforms after their performances. As soon as they finish their act, they are required to change into their regular clothing. Other cheerleaders have even stricter rules, with their contracts specifically stating that they are not allowed to hang around the stadium in their uniforms once the game ends.
NFL cheerleaders are not allowed to have any sort of public or private relationship with the players. Some teams go even further, requiring that cheerleaders block NFL players from all of their social media accounts, in order to ensure that this rule is followed through. In fact, thethings.com shares that if a cheerleader enters a restaurant where an NFL player is in, they are sometimes required to look for another place to eat.
Whether or not they have tons of followers on social media, cheerleaders have specific rules around the type of pictures they are allowed to post on their personal pages. For instance, they are not allowed to post what are considered “inappropriate pictures.” In fact, there are reports of cheerleaders who have lost their jobs due to the photos they posted online.
Another rule that might not come as a shocker is the fact that cheerleaders are required to go the extra mile in taking care of themselves. Unfortunately, the cheerleading industry still falls under certain socially constructed ideals of beauty and femininity, requiring NFL cheerleaders to have their nails and hair constantly taken care of, and demand that they are constantly working out, eating healthy, and even making sure to keep their teeth white.
In addition to delivering unforgettable performances in the football field, cheerleaders are often required to be on-call on a daily basis in case they need to perform somewhere else. Their contracts sometimes require them to attend gaming events, auctions, and photoshoots, even if they are on their day off. Also, since these events are a part of the deal, they are not paid any extra for it.