News recently broke that the Oakland Raiders are allegedly paying their cheerleaders (the Raiderettes) wages as criminally low as $5 per hour and now, as more facts about the team are revealed, it's turning out that not only do they pay the Raiderettes next to nothing — they also treat them like they're social fucking idiots. Gooooooo Raiders?
LA Times journalist Robin Abcarian has obtained a copy of the official Oakland Raiderettes handbook (a guide that is apparently quite secret) and the advice within is so obvious and condescending that it would really only be appropriate when attempting to advise an alien from outer space on how to act human. Stuff like:
- "First Impressions: It takes 3-5 seconds to form a first impression of someone. Think about the last time you met someone for the first time. You probably looked at their hair, jewelry, facial expressions, style of clothes, shoes and nails….Keep nail polish pads in your car for emergencies. Smile, shake hands with everyone."
- "[A handshake] is an American custom that should be extended immediately upon introduction. A handshake should last about three seconds, be firm, and be web to web."
- "If you don't like your meal, try a little of everything and strategically move the rest around your plate...Gently unfold your napkin and place it on your lap. Fold it almost in half and place it with the fold side towards your body. If you need to leave the table, place the napkin on your chair, and don't forget to say, 'Excuse me.'"
Wow, what a great handbook! Can't wait for the following chapters on how human [HU-mahn] women should use their hands, not their feet, to hold forks and how jackets go on your top half.
But it's not all embrrassingly silly. It's batshit crazy and offensive. On fraternization with players:
"Excessive and/or improper fraternization with CLUB players or personnel will be grounds for dismissal...
...Let's discuss what excessive means to the Raiders. There have been a few relationships between the two groups that have resulted in a few happy marriages and lovely children. HOWEVER, we have also had more situations where, quite frankly, the Raider organization and the Raiderettes narrowly escaped ruined reputations.
One such example concerns a player who gave Halloween parties every year and many of the Raiderettes attended. This same player was suspended from the team for drug use but also arrested for date rape. For you on the squad who have attended those parties, just think how narrowly you missed having your photo in all the local papers and/or being assaulted."
I mean, really girls. Could you try not to get raped by your friends and colleagues? Think of what you could be doing to the team's reputation!
The handbook is also extremely condemning when it comes to the current legal case over the Raiderettes wages. Abcarian writes:
A section called "Rehearsal Absentee and Missed Games Policy" lists fines incurred for missed rehearsals. Oddly—or perhaps illegally, as Lacy T.'s lawsuit claims—cheerleaders are not compensated at all for their thrice weekly rehearsals. That means any fines for missed practices are deducted from the paltry $125 they earn for each home game.
Unfortunately, it's becoming more and more clear that this kind of mistreatment is not limited to the Oakland Raiders and is a widespread problem throughout the NFL.
Image via Getty.