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NFL players have some strict team rules that they must follow during the season and oftentimes in the offseason as well. However, believe it or not, most teams’ rules for their cheerleaders are far more strict than any they set for their players.
As society becomes more lenient on social and work norms, the rules for NFL cheerleaders have not budged causing many to question the morality of some of these rules. For example, NFL teams are strict when it comes to their cheerleaders and tattoos.
NFL cheerleaders are not allowed to have tattoos showing while they are performing. Any cheerleader who has a tattoo that might show while in uniform must cover it up with make-up or clothing.
Many players have decorated their bodies with tattoos, but the cheerleaders are not allowed to do so. This is just one of the many strict rules that someone must live by in order to be a cheerleader in the NFL.
Why Aren’t NFL Cheerleaders Allowed to Have Tattoos?
Not every team has such stringent requirements for its cheerleaders, but covering up tattoos is pretty universal for most teams.
There is a certain appearance that teams want their cheerleaders to portray, and many believe that tattoos do not promote that appearance.
Again, this is not true for all teams, but it is for most. Also, teams don’t actually ban cheerleaders from having tattoos, they just require them to cover them up if they are visible. Many teams fine or suspend their cheerleaders who have visible tattoos during games and events.
Covering up tattoos is not the easiest task, so many would argue that this rule forces cheerleaders to not have any tattoos at all.
The idea of an employer requiring employees to cover up tattoos while on the job is fairly uncommon today, but it was normal just a decade or so ago. For example, school districts have been known to require teachers to cover up visible tattoos.
Many schools and other employers have recently backed off of this requirement, but it shows that covering up tattoos in the workplace is not all that uncommon. The difference with NFL cheerleaders is that much more of their bodies are exposed at work than a teacher.
An NFL cheerleader’s uniform exposes most of her body leaving her only a few options to get a tattoo that would not be visible.
Whether you agree with this or not, the bottom line is most teams do not allow their cheerleaders to have tattoos, and there are no signs of those rules changing any time soon.
Are NFL Cheerleaders Allowed to Have Piercings?
There are some other articles of body decor that NFL teams do not allow of their cheerleaders.
Like tattoos, NFL cheerleaders are not allowed to have visible piercings showing during events according to most teams.
This does not mean that cheerleaders cannot have their ears or any other part of their body pierced. It simply means that they must remove the jewelry while performing at events. To most people, this rule appears to be a little more harsh than even the tattoo rule.
It is likely that this is simply a tradition that has been passed down from each generation of cheerleaders, but it is also likely that teams feel as if body piercings promote an image that they do not want their cheerleaders to promote.
What Other Rules do NFL Cheerleaders Have to Follow?
There are many other rules that teams require their cheerleaders to follow. While many of these rules are enforced among most teams, there is no governing body over NFL cheerleaders which allows each team to determine its own rules.
There are other rules relating to appearance and social life that NFL cheerleaders must follow. Their hair must be one color, their nails must be professionally done, they can’t interact socially with players, and they must be careful about their social media posts.
It seems pretty obvious that teams would have a hair and nail requirement for their cheerleaders. Hair and nails must be professionally done, and the colors must be approved by the team.
While many believe this requirement allows the team unnecessary control of their cheerleaders, teams view it the same way they view a uniform requirement; therefore, they believe it is certainly within their rights to dictate the appearance of their cheerleaders’ hair and nails.
A more controversial rule deals with the cheerleaders’ social lives as most teams do not allow them to interact socially with players on the team. Some teams even go as far as to say that if a cheerleader is in public and a player happens to be there as well, the cheerleader must leave.
The outrage over these rules comes from the double standard that many feel is at play here. Cheerleaders’ social lives are strictly dictated while players’ are not to the same standard.
Their social media is also monitored closely. While most employers do not allow employees to post inappropriately on social media, some NFL teams take it a step further in regularly monitoring what their cheerleaders post and making sure that it promotes a certain image.
There are some other strict rules that some teams enforce such as regular weigh-ins, limited water breaks during games, and many more.
As many have pointed out, several of these rules are not as forward-thinking as many workplaces have become as it relates to dress code, appearance, and social life control.
Some teams have been sued for the treatment of their cheerleaders, but those lawsuits have yet to promote any groundbreaking change.
What Does it Take to Become an NFL Cheerleader?
Being an NFL cheerleader is usually a part-time job because of the lower salary. However, making an NFL cheerleading squad is no walk in the park.
To become an NFL cheerleader, one must apply for the job, go through the interview process, and participate in a dance or fitness routine in front of the entire team.
This is not all that different from applying for any job, but, depending on the team, the interview and audition process can be intense. Some teams require multiple rounds of each before deciding who makes the team.
Making an NFL cheerleading squad is a huge commitment as teams expect cheerleaders to be available for every home game, any potential playoff games, public outings, and practices throughout the week. That is a lot to ask of a part-time job.
How Much Money Do NFL Cheerleaders Make?
NFL cheerleaders make about $150 each game day and usually anywhere from $50-$75 for each public event. This brings their total yearly salary to somewhere around $22,500 per year. Many cheerleaders have other jobs to be able to make ends meet.
Do All NFL Teams Have Cheerleaders?
Not every NFL team has cheerleaders. The Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, the Chicago Bears, and the Pittsburgh Steelers all do not have cheerleading teams.