Looking at an NFL cheerleader would have you think her life is perfect. She is beautiful, talented, in great shape, and performing in front of thousands of people day in and day out. However, a quick look at the handbook they have to follow will make you feel less jealous of her and more sorry for her. Other than the ridiculous dress code they have to follow (two-piece Tuesdays are a thing), every single aspect of their lives is monitored by their supervisors. The way they eat, how they speak to fans, and even the products they use in the shower are all controlled by others. Here are just a few examples of the absurdity that is NFL-approved ladylike behavior.
How a lady sits
NFL cheerleaders aren’t allowed to sit during games. Not without an official’s permission. Which is rarely given. And when they are allowed to sit, they have to do it in a “ladylike manner,” as the handbook states. That means maintaining posture and properly crossing their legs, probably at the ankles as pictured below.
Never eat with your hands
Some NFL teams literally have guidelines for how cheerleaders should eat. One rule says that cheerleaders should always use the proper utensils when they’re eating. They should also match the pace of their food consumption to that of those at the table with them. Eating with their hands is a strict no-no, which makes us wonder what they do with pizzas or burgers. Probably look the other way as they were told.
Party with other people, not the players
After some of these ridiculous rules came to light, a lawsuit was filed against the Raiderettes for the atrocious way they treat their cheerleaders. The lawsuit has also revealed that their guidebook said the women weren’t allowed to attend parties where the players are present. Although the cheerleaders and the players see each other during games and practices, socializing is strictly forbidden. The rule said that players might use illegal substances at their parties. Being associated with that could ruin a cheerleader’s reputation. What about the players’ reputation? Nobody seems to be talking about that.
The party rule goes even further and some teams forbid their cheerleaders from fraternizing altogether. It goes to the obscene extent of not sitting at the same restaurant. In fact, if a cheerleader is sitting at a restaurant and a player comes in, she has to leave. And the player? He can do whatever he wants whenever he wants, no matter who’s around.
They have to play detectives
Sure, most handbooks discourage cheerleaders from spending time with players. However, if one couple has managed to get together against all odds, it is up to the cheerleader to fund out if the player is married. And that means being sneaky and contacting the NFL offices. Why? Because the handbook says the player could just lie about his marital status. Like we said — medieval.