Football has many traditions, its most high profile being the Super Bowl. Fans fill the stadium and people around the world gather around their televisions to watch the annual NFC vs. AFC clash. For the diehard football fan, it will be their last chance for the season to cheer on their team.
Two teams that did make it to the annual championship game have little reason to celebrate. Their seasons ended sooner than they wanted. Any opportunity to cheer up at the start of their winter break ended with the service of legal papers.
A Reason Not To Cheer
On behalf of her fellow female athletes, a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader filed a class action lawsuit against the National Football League days before the big game. In addition to the NFL, the 49ers and Oakland Raiders were also named as defendants.
The cheerleaders claim that some of them made less than $5,000 per year or below minimum wage. In their suit, they allege a conspiracy between the NFL and teams to deliberately pay them well below market value.
Former Raiderette Caitlin Yates is one of the plaintiffs. She was with the Raiders for five years, claiming to have been paid $125 a game in an annual, year-end lump sum. According to Yates, she and her fellow cheerleaders were undervalued based on the compensation they received. In addition, they allege that the league and the teams treated them like second-class citizens.
While the NFL and the teams named in the suit have yet to comment or respond a non-gridiron battle may be brewing long after the presentation of the Lombardi trophy.