We’re Rooting for the Cheerleaders

Cheerleaders are a huge part of the NFL product, but some teams don’t appreciate what they do.

In 2013, the NFL made $6 billion in revenue, making it far and away the most profitable professional sports league in America. Since 1954, when the Baltimore Colts sent out dancers as part of the Baltimore Colts Marching Band, cheerleaders have been as integral to the game viewing experience as instant replays, but, despite record profits, teams continue to ignore their cheerleaders (come on, guys) and their complaints. In 2014, six separate cheerleading teams have filed suit against their teams, alleging unpaid labor, sexual harassment, and dangerous working conditions. Here are the cheerleaders rooting for a better deal. We’re rooting for them.

Photos by Jim McIsaac / Getty Images