a brewing lawsuit brought against the Oakland Raiders by their cheer squad has revealed, NFL cheerleaders are some of the most poorly paid legal workers in America. With next to no labor rights and making nowhere near the minimum wage, they could use a cheer or two themselves.
Back in January, Oakland Raiderette Lacy T brought a suit on behalf of the entire squad. Factoring in practice hours, charitable appearances and the annual swimsuit calendar photo shoot on top of a 10-game commitment, he and her attorneys argued that the Raiderettes’ $1,250 annual wage worked out to less than $5 an hour. That’s a whole $3 below the state minimum. And it’s more than $5 below an increase the Obama administration has been seeking all year and said in a report last weekwould close the gender wage gap by a full 5%.
The Raiderettes are also required to fund their own travel and mandated cosmetics. They get fined by the team if they don’t sport the right underwear or the proper shade of fake tan. And in direct contravention of California labor law, these cheerleaders get paid at the end of the season, rather than every two weeks. And so the Cincinnati Ben-gals are joining the fight, too.
The Cleveland Clinc has worked on tests for detecting and quantifying signs of consussions in athletes over the past few years and an iPad app has been built. In theory very useful, but some sports probably need rule changes - certainly at the high school and perhaps the college level.
For the popularity of that pastime, we can thank and/or blame this guy: Dr. Jonas Gustav Wilhelm Zander, the Swedish physician and orthopedist and all-around genius who invented the exercise machine in its familiar form. Though Dr. Zander wasn't alone in realizing the market for machines that would aid in exercise -- and though exercise equipment as a more general thing has been around since long before the Greeks and their gymnasia -- it was Dr. Zander who popularized the connections between physical exertions and overall well-being. He was the one who looked at a horse and realized it could be replicated for purposes of recreation. He was the one who looked at a bicycle and realized it could be used for more than transportation. Much of the strategic skeuomorphism at play in gyms today -- the mechanized bikes, the mechanized stairs, the mechanized skis, the mechanized roads, the mechanized boats -- can be traced back to Dr. Zander. He scanned the physical world and saw within it hundreds of outlets for exertion.