The Raiders just can’t catch a break. They have to worry about their fans complaining about the team being lousy, and now they have to worry about their cheerleaders complaining they aren’t paid enough.
Lacy T., who was a cheerleader for the team this season, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all Raiderettes over the last four years against the team on Wednesday for not being adequately compensated based on a season’s worth of pom-pom waving, dancing, giving despondent and lecherous Raiders fans something to cheer about in a 20-point blowout and being creepily hit on by desperate fans at public appearances.
The Raiderettes’ contract calls for $125 per home game, or $1,250 per season, she said. That amounts to less than $5 an hour, counting hours of unpaid work in rehearsals, performances at 10 charity events and participation in the team’s annual swimsuit photo-shoot, the suit said.
Additionally, the suit said, the Raiders withhold the cheerleaders’ pay until the end of the season, in violation of a state law requiring pay at least twice a month.
By contrast, Lacy T., who is a former Warriors Girl, says the Warriors paid their dancers between $10 and $14 an hour, based on experience.
Meanwhile, Raiderettes are also expected to cover their own travel expenses to games, rehearsals and other events as well as charges for hair and makeup.
On top of that, according to the Merc, the suit alleges Raiderettes incur fines for silly things like bringing the wrong pom-poms to practice, wearing the wrong outfit to rehearsals or forgetting to bring a yoga mat to practice. The high-stakes world of NFL cheerleading is CUTTHROAT.
Sharon Vinnick, Lacy T.’s attorney, said that former Raiderettes are entitled to tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, while this year’s squad is owed thousands of dollars.
For now, Lacy T., whose last name is all but an initial to us because of Raiders policy, hopes she can inspire NFL cheerleaders everywhere to do the same:
“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. “I hope cheerleaders across the NFL will step forward to join me in demanding respect and fair compensation.”
A true revolutionary, if I ever saw one.