A recent lawsuit has shed light on some less-than-desirous cheerleading conditions and requirements in Cincinnati.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, “Ben-Gals” cheerleader Alexa Brenneman says that she was paid just $2.85 per hour during the 10 Cincinnati Bengals games she cheered at. In Ohio, minimum wage is $7.85.
Not only does Brenneman say that she received just $90 as take-home pay after each game, but that despite devoting well over 300 hours of her time throughout the season to practices, games and charity events, she was only paid a total of $855.
Also included in her lawsuit is a section on some of the questionable requirements demanded of of her and her teammates.
“Ben-Gals are weighed twice a week and must stay within 3 pounds of their ‘goal weight’ or face discipline, including mandatory ‘extra conditioning’ after practices, being ‘benched for weight violations,’ probation, and ultimately dismissal from the team,” the lawsuit contends.
The New York Daily News cites further rules the Ben-Gals had to follow from a six-page document Brenneman presented entitled, “Cincinnati Ben-Gal Rules.” Some of the requirements Brenneman contends the cheerleaders had to endure are as follows:
“No panties are to be worn under practice clothes or uniform, not even thong panties. Wear pantyhose to match skin tone (L’eggs). No Danskins/Dance type tights. No control top at practices or games. No exposed skin at ankles — pantyhose must extend down into socks. No slouching breasts. Support as needed. Black or nude seamless bra mandatory for games (no lace).”
The combination of a questionably strict dress code and allegedly illegal pay is sure to create some noise as Brenneman’s lawsuit proceeds. It will certainly be worth keeping an eye on, and perhaps could spur other cheerleaders into similar action if they believe their respective conditions are inadequate.