By: Triana Gando
A sporting event isn’t complete without the help of the team’s cheerleaders on the sidelines. However, with the current state of the world and COVID-19, these performers are put on the back burner. NBA and NHL teams have resorted to playing in the bubble and NFL teams are limiting spectators. Where does this leave the performers? Is it time for these franchises to disband these performance groups?
Let’s take a look at some pros and cons on whether they should disband cheerleaders for professional sports
Pros of disbanding cheer teams
Some cheer teams can’t even perform in the stadium
The Las Vegas Raiders made its decision to debut their new Allegiant Stadium without fans in attendance. The Raiderettes, the team’s cheerleaders, aren’t seen in the stadium either therefore performing is at a standstill. Although performing is put on pause, the Raiderettes are very active on social media promoting themselves by posting meet the team introductions and videos of them performing outside of the Allegiant Stadium and different locations on the Las Vegas Strip. So let’s get this straight. Are they cheer teams that actually cheer or social media influencers?
Are people even paying attention to the cheerleaders on the sideline
Unlike the Raiderettes, there are other cheer teams that can actually perform inside their stadium. Things are looking a little differently though. Safety protocols have been implemented in the NFL where the cheerleaders and
mascots aren’t allowed in their usual spots on the sidelines. Instead, they’re performing on raised platforms in front of fans and away from the action. Aside from that, masks are being worn and social distancing between each cheerleader is implemented. In the video below, teams like the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders now have a simplified version of their traditional pregame performance that would usually take place right on the field. Sideline routines are still being performed in their new spots. But, are fans even paying attention to them? Or are they a distraction blocking what’s seen on the field? Some may even argue teams still win without them cheering. You’re probably asking yourself, “what’s the point?”
There’s already so many problems
There have been plenty of cases where cheerleaders have spoken out about the lack of compensation for the time and effort put in, sexual harassment cases, and instances of gender discrimination. It seems like the organizations don’t have the best interest for them. Should they just get it over with and get rid of them completely?
Cons of disbanding cheer teams
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of “cheerleader” is “a person who is a member of a group who shouts out special songs or chants to encourage the team and entertain the crowd during a game in sports like American football and basketball.” These individuals do just that. They’re who you see lead pregame, welcome the players when they make their entrance, perform during halftime, and everything in between. Their main duty is to promote team spirit while entertaining the crowd. They serve as the face of the sports team.
It gives these individuals a platform
Performing professionally is a goal and next step for aspiring dancers. These teams create job opportunities for dancers to further their career a platform. They represent the face of an organization and in the community. They’re the ones little dancers aspire to be when they grow up.
- Sports would be boring
Imagine a sports game without its cheerleaders. Now, what’s more entertaining than watching your own sports team lose?
At the end of the day, cheer teams across different professional sports teams are trying their best to make it work with COVID-19. Time will tell if these sports organizations decide to disband their cheerleading team once and for all. What do you think?