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Former NFL cheerleaders demand better pay

2018-06-05 08:17
Houston Texans cheerleaders (Getty Images)
Houston Texans cheerleaders (Getty Images)

New York - A group of former cheerleaders from the Houston Texans suing the NFL delivered a letter to its commissioner on Monday, demanding the league end its exploitation of women and pay fairer wages. 

Their lawyer Gloria Allred, who filed a case against the Texans on Friday, told the media it was time for cheerleaders to get the respect they deserved and for their salaries to be increased beyond minimum wage.

"Women deserve respect and should be paid for the worth they provide," she said, reading from the letter.

"The days when women would accept any crumbs that men would give them are gone - enough is enough."

Surrounded by four of the five women she is representing, Allred, who previously represented the victims of disgraced TV icon Bill Cosby during his assault trial, said she had given the NFL a week to respond.

In their lawsuit, the women say they were paid just $7.25 an hour for their work and were also subjected to harassment.

It was the latest legal action following similar suits by cheerleaders from two other teams, the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins.

The issue came to the fore last month after The New York Times reported that said members of the Washington Redskins cheerleading squad who went on a weeklong trip to Costa Rica were pressured into taking topless pictures for a calendar photo shoot - though the calendar did not feature nude photographs.

Long a staple of American professional sports, some critics have questioned whether the presence of scantily-clad women on the sidelines of games is an anachronism in the #MeToo era.

Allred did not go that far, but suggested that mixed gender cheerleading squads would go a long way toward improving work conditions.

"Usually, when men are in a profession, it brings things up," she said.

Read more on:    nfl
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