If you were looking for a good punch line for the Oakland Raiders, a woman named Lacy T. provided enough for an entire offseason.
The Raiders, who lost their final six games of the season and haven't been in the playoffs since the 2002 season, don't even pay their cheerleaders minimum wage. That's what Lacy T. said in a lawsuit against the team, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Chronicle reported that the suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, is a proposed class action on behalf of 40 current Raiderettes other former team cheerleaders from the past four years. Lacy T. (who isn't identified by her last name for security reasons, which is in line with a team policy) wants other NFL cheerleaders to join the suit too.
"I love being a Raiderette, but someone has to stand up for all of the women of the NFL who work so hard for the fans and the teams," Lacy T. said in a statement released by her lawyer, according to the Chronicle. "I hope cheerleaders across the NFL will step forward to join me in demanding respect and fair compensation."
The Raiderettes make $125 per home game, not enough to cover the games, charity appearances, practice and the team's swimsuit calendar photo shoot. Lacy T. claims that's less than $5 an hour, and on top of that the team makes them pay for travel and hits them with fines. They also have to pay for accessories like fake eyelashes, the Chronicle story said, and a team-selected hairstylists. The fines seem fairly ridiculous. Here's what the Chronicle wrote about them:
"The team fines Raiderettes $10 or more for such offenses as failing to bring the right pom-poms or a yoga mat to practice, the suit said. It said a cheerleader who gains 5 pounds from her weight at the start of the season, or who appears "too soft" to the squad's director, is benched for the next home game, has to stay in the locker room, and forfeits the $125 wage she would have made for participating, though she still must take part in pregame and halftime activities."
There's a joke to be made about the Raiders' cheerleaders being punished for being "too soft" more harshly than the team's players are.
So now the Raiders are being accused of being too cheap when it comes to their cheerleaders. Have fun with that one, folks.
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