According to Lacey T, the a 27-year-old Oakland Raiders cheerleader who filed an unfair labor practices lawsuit on behalf of all the Raiderettes, there are some majorly screwed up and “illegal” demands placed on NFL cheerleaders. The fact that Cincinnati Ben-Gal Alexa Brenneman has filed a similar lawsuit against her team for violating federal employment laws only seems to confirm that treating cheerleaders like underpaid (the lawsuit says cheerleaders in Cincinnati make $900 a season), undervalued objects is a common practice in the NFL. Below, some of the “rules” Brenneman claims she was forced to abide by — including mandates about “no panties, “slouchy breasts” and “scale weight.” Be prepared to be outraged. Keep reading »
In a perfect world, an athlete coming out as gay wouldn’t even be considered news. But in the world we live in, college football player Michael Sam’s decision to come out of the closet before the NFL draft is headline-making and controversial. Sam — who, if drafted, would be the first openly gay player in the NFL — has received a lot of support from all over, but it’s especially moving to see him defended and championed by someone like Texas sportscaster Dale Hansen. Especially since Hansen, an older white man from Texas, quotes Audre Lorde while doing so. Awesome. [Twenty Two Words]
Fucking football, man. Following last night’s tight game between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots, in which the Jets emerged with a narrow victory, a fight broke out between rival fans because, you know, football is everything to some people. And amidst the melee, a male Jets fan, who apparently didn’t consider his team’s victory to be good enough, punched a female Pats fan in the face. Sportsmanship! WTF? [NY Daily News]
Sarah Thomas is currently on track to be the National Football League’s first permanent female referee. She is a finalist in their training program and there is a possibility she will be hired and on the field by 2014. Although Shannon Eastin was the first woman to officiate an NFL game, this is the first time that a woman would be hired as a full time official.
But this isn’t the first time that Thomas has broken down gender barriers in sports. In 2009, she became the first woman to officiate a college football bowl game during the Little Caesar Bowl between Ohio University and Marshall University. Thomas played basketball in college, but after college, she was kicked off of a Mississippi church-league team because they didn’t want any girls on the team. Determined to stay in sports, she decided to start officiating football. Keep reading »
On April 22, Anna-Megan Raley, under the pseudonym of Claire Crawford, wrote a blog post for CBS Houston titled, “Is This Girl ‘Too Chunky’ To Be An OKC Thunder Cheerleader?” In the post, she spotlighted Kelsey Williams, a three-year veteran of the Thunder Girls, the dance team that performs during the home games of the NBA’s Oklahoma Thunder. Referring to a picture showing Williams in her uniform — a bra-like halter top and short shorts — Raley questioned whether Williams was “bad-looking,” noting she had “pudginess around her waistline.” Although she praised Williams for being “comfortable wearing that tiny little outfit,” she wished the dancer had “a little more on top, if you know what I mean,” and asked readers, “Is this chick ‘too chunky’ to be a cheerleader?” Then the half-assed statement, “We think she’s beautiful,” followed by a poll allowing readers to vote on the options: “She has no business wearing that outfit in front of people” or “She could use some tightening in her midsection.” Keep reading »
Progressive cultural change doesn’t always happen quickly, but when it does, it’s a beautiful thing. Take the National Football League, professional football’s bastion and, up until now, a rather conservative place. That may all change now that Alan Gandreau, a kicker from Middle Tennessee State University, has become a viable NFL prospect.
Gendreau, who is the top scorer in his school’s conference, came out at an early age and dated boys in high school. “When you know, you know,” he told OutSports.com. Keep reading »
“Female, male, dog, cat, as long as they’re calling the right calls and they know what they’re doing out there, it really doesn’t matter. It’s a person. She’ll see the same things as a man. She knows how to blow the whistle the same way. It’s going to be something weird to see, but you deal with it and just roll.”
– This was Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley speaking in regards to Shannon Eastin, who last night, became the first-ever woman to referee an NFL game. Yup, history was made. I haven’t seen a plague of locusts descending yet, so I think everyone is going to be okay! [Fox Sports]