A group of former Texans cheerleaders delivered a letter Monday to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seeking better pay and an end to inhumane treatment by teams.
Four cheerleaders and their attorney, Gloria Allred, delivered the letter to NFL headquarters in Manhattan. The cheerleaders, who filed suit against the Texans last week alleging unequal pay and unfair working conditions, asked Goodell to force NFL teams to stop exploiting women.
Allred also held up a T-shirt for reporters showing the figure $7.25, the federal minimum wage, alleging the cheerleaders were paid less than that.
We appreciate the Houston Texans Cheerleaders for the positive impact they have made in our community and for the outstanding way they have represented our organization for nearly two decades. If there are things we learn from this process that we feel will make our cheer program even better, we will make the necessary adjustments. We do not tolerate mistreatment of our cheer team or our employees at any time.
Cheerleaders and former cheerleaders around the NFL have been speaking out in recent months and filing suits alleging harassment, gender discrimination, exploitation and other issues. In one incident reported last month, Redskins cheerleaders told the New York Times they were required to pose topless for a calendar photo shoot in 2013, and were also asked to escort sponsors to nightclubs.
After his approval a few days later by NFL owners, Tepper was playful with reporters and didn’t just acknowledge his personal insecurities but seemed to bask in them. Portly and bald, Tepper began two of his four questions at a news conference by pointing out the hair of two lushly coiffed reporters and later wondered aloud during a photo opportunity if he should’ve worn a better shirt.
I have a great appreciation for how stupid I am, Tepper said at one point, not exactly a statement commonly made by NFL owners, and he spent one night in Atlanta at the hotel lobby bar and later told a Charlotte Observer reporter that he celebrated his entry into American sports’ most exclusive club not with caviar and a 62-year-old Macallan but with pork rinds and strawberry milk.