Raiderettes get a raise to $9 per hour
NBC Bay Area – For the first time in team history, when the Oakland Raiderettes begin their cheerleading season this summer, “Football’s Fabulous Females” will be paid California’s minimum wage for time spent practicing, visiting sick children or posing for the annual team calendar. Roughly, that translates to about $3,000 a season, or $9 an hour.
In previous years, in addition to twirling and kicking during Raiders’ games at the Oakland Coliseum, Raiderettes were required to show up three hours before each home game, attend 10 charity events a year, pose for photo shoots, and attend parties, drills and three rehearsals a week. All of that work went unpaid.
The cheerleaders’ new hourly salary, quietly divulged by the Raiders this month, might not seem like much. Especially because the trained dancers are being paid by the National Football League, which is valued at $10 billion. But earning minimum wage in California is a big deal to the cheerleader who first sued the Raiders in December, claiming all the unpaid time she put into the Raiderettes yielded an illegal salary of just about $5 an hour.
“I think it’s great,” Lacy T. said in an interview last week. “The girls should get paid.”
Well score one for the girls! Keeping in mind that the Cheerleaders are glorified fan ambassadors, as long as they get proper places to changes and don’t get harassed by drunk dudes at golf tournaments, I think this is open and shut, right? I mean now they’re getting paid to visit sick kids, that’s pretty incredible. Not to mention when they get flown to whatever exotic place their calendar shoot takes place, they’re getting all those expenses paid as well. At the end of the day, they’re on the sidelines for 8 games a year and I would say playoffs as well but it’s the Raiders so that’s not happening any time soon.
Is it an internship? Yeah sure, I mean these girls aren’t in their 30’s and they get to meet a bevy of VIP’s in their normal careers beyond cheerleading that hopefully open the gates for them. It will always be on their resume and if they’re trying to become a model it gives them free PR. Yeah they shouldn’t get paid peanuts but let’s not forget what the “job” is: dancing in places and looking good for a team they already like. Yeah the NFL might be worth billions of dollars but that’s not because of the girls on the sidelines. Pay ’em a wage for showing up, respect them and if they are used in marketing materials give them a slice but that’s about it.