Why Aren’t Cheerleaders Kneeling with the NFL?
Kneeling during the national anthem in the NFL has become the hot topic of conversation with people talking more about that than the game itself.
While we have seen both players and coaches kneel or stand linking arms, we haven't seen any cheerleaders kneel.
Why is that?
Well, the magazine Elle had reached out to current NFL cheerleaders and their coordinators asking that exact question. They were met with either silence or they were told that they declined to comment.
Since the magazine could not get comments from current NFL cheerleaders, they reached out to former.
Every single former cheerleader and coordinator they spoke to said that they would have not participated in the protest, just like all of the current cheerleaders are doing.
One former cheerleader told the magazine, "If I was still a cheerleader, I wouldn’t kneel down, it’s not my job. I would be frustrated about what’s going on in the country, but I would put my thoughts and opinions to the side and keep on moving..."
Another former cheerleader explained how she was not surprised that no cheerleader has knelt with the NFL explaining:
...It’s not that we women don’t have an opinion; we have opinions. Many of us have other jobs while we are cheering, there are doctors and politicians out there on the field. We do this because we love to dance, and our job as cheerleaders isn’t to create controversy. It’s to make everyone happy.
Many of the former cheerleaders they spoke to explained that being a cheerleader in the NFL is all about having fun and showing the audience that they are having fun. They are supposed to remain positive and cheerful. Engaging in a protest would be against that mentality.
They explained further that they were told how replaceable they are and would not risk being replaced to take a stand. Although they are not paid well, cheering for an NFL team is a dream come true for these women and they would not risk their jobs for kneeling.
Michelle Wright, who is a former Jackson Jaguar cheerleader, told Elle Magazine:
Bottom line, cheerleaders are a little fish in a big pond. Although they are of great worth and value to the football experience and their respective communities, many are undervalued. So to remain neutral, they wouldn’t take a knee.