Being an NFL cheerleader is tough and usually the cheerleaders aren’t paid enough for all the hours they put into the job. It’s not just about looking pretty and dancing on the sideline. Cheerleaders represent the team at various team and charity events multiple days a week and usually need to follow stringent requirements for their appearance and body or else they could be let go.
Cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders sued the team for back pay because they alleged that the Raiders had been paying them less than minimum wage, which is against the law. The cheerleaders were paid $6,000 a year from 2010-2012 and $2,500 in 2013. The Raiders lawsuit also sparked cheerleaders from other teams to sue for the same reason.
As far as the Raiders are concerned, the team settled with the cheerleaders and the lawyer for the cheerleaders claimed that they are now being paid minimum wage. Those who cheered from 2010-2013 (about 90 or so cheerleaders) would receive the pay to make that up.
You could make an argument that cheerleaders are worth more than minimum wage but that is what the cheerleaders sued for and the Raiders were fair enough to give them the minimum instead of fighting it out in court.
I’m sure an argument could be made that the cheerleaders shouldn’t be paid more than minimum wage. They get to watch NFL games from the sidelines and work for an NFL team, most fans would probably kill to have a job that allows them to do that. But like any job with a sports team, chances are you’re not watching the game that much because you’re doing your job. So it’s not as appealing as you would think. Yeah, it’s a great job but you’re probably watching more of the game from your couch than you are on the actual field.
Not to mention that cheerleaders do more than just show up on gameday and do various other events. And considering fans do want to watch them or else teams wouldn’t have cheerleaders, maybe their value is more than minimum wage. But that’s for another day.