Not all teams in the NFL have cheerleaders. I bet off the top of your head you couldn't name the teams that do and do not employee the talents of the sideline leaders of cheer. These women (and sometimes men) have strict rules around practice, body weight and tardiness according to a contract entered as evidence in the lawsuit of a former Ben-Gal against the Bengals.
Some of the detailed rules in the contract are:
- A Ben-Gals official must be approved to follow cheerleaders' twitter accounts, even private accounts.
- No panties are to be worn under under practice clothes or uniforms, not even thongs. And, "No slouching breasts. Support as needed."
- The only jewelry Ben-Gals can wear with a uniform is a wedding band and stud earrings. No fraternizing with the Bengals players or personnel and the locker room is "completely off limits." A violation equals dismissal.
- Insubordination and questioning authority is cause for dismissal. Those considered in positions of authority include the director, head coach, assistant coach, side captains, captains, choreographers, hair and makeup artist, dressing room assistants, field assistants and event coordinators.
- Weight is extremely important. Ben-Gals are weighed in twice a week. Cheerleaders have a goal weight and can go up to three pounds over before being sanctioned. Anyone who goes over the three pounds is required to stay 30 minutes after practice for extra conditioning and may be ineligible for paid charity events. Anyone who fails to get back down to ideal weight is kicked off the squad.
- The only exemption to missing practice is your wedding.
So when do we sign up?