“Wholesome” cheerleaders? Do they have social lives (or civil rights)?

The cheerleader squad for the Philadelphia Eagles exercises and practices in my neighborhood gym. The other day a lawyer came in and took a few of them aside. I overhead her instruct them to delete their Facebook and MySpace profiles immediately, explaining that membership in online social networks is a breach of contract.

Evidently “the team” (read: the owners) feels it cannot regulate what they put on their profiles: I recall her saying that the team wants to promote a “wholesome” image, and so therefore doesn’t want any of its corporate imagery associated with “inappropriate things,” i.e., sexy photographs, suggestive messages, and the like. The last thing I heard her say is, “If you feel these profiles are important for your modeling career or personal life, then keep them — but then you will relinquish your position on the squad.”

(1)  I’m curious as to how far this kind of regulation extends beyond just online social networking, if tat all. Are professional cheerleaders, so long as they are contracted with a team or agency, allowed to have normal “offline” social lives?

(2) I’m also confused: you have scantily clad woman hopping and gyrating on live television for millions to see, and somehow they are supposed to also be “wholesome”? Obviously, I’m not complaining; I am, after all, a guy (and I would also like to take a moment to thank God for blessing my gym). Nevertheless, I’m a bit confused as to the morality of “wholesome cheerleading.”

And (3) is this a violation of their civil rights?

In an effort to put these questions to the Eagles blogging community, I will now proceed to ping here, here, and here.  (This just had me cracking up and has nothing to do with the subject.)  I’ve also put the questions in e-mail form to James and Sasha of the Professional Cheerleader Blog (much to my amazement, it does exist).

(Yes, I go to the gym with the woman in that photograph; and yes, even without photo-shopping, she does indeed look that amazing.)


Considering the speed with which this post has been moving through cyberspace, I’d like to direct everyone’s attention to this little diddy of a follow-up.

Hmmm I think if word continues to spread, I’m going to have 40 very angry and very athletic women out to kill me.  A more glorious death I cannot imagine. 🙂


6 Replies to ““Wholesome” cheerleaders? Do they have social lives (or civil rights)?”

  1. This seems like a breach of civil rights over social life. If this isn’t illegal, it should be. I suggest we contact the Eagles and discuss our disgust as well as some news agencies.

  2. Hah! But see, that just proves the point, doesn’t it? It’s contradictory to think a cheerleader can be “wholesome” (unless, of course, you stick her in a burqa).

    Also, Karl would appear to be right at first glance. Then again, they did sign the contract. I recall them very eagerly acceding to the lawyer.

  3. Technically, it is not a breach of their civil rights because they can choose whether or not to be employed by the organization.

    The fact that a lawyer came to them, means that something in the contract they signed prohibited this, I want to see the actual document to know how to proceed from there.

    I do agree that cheerleaders are supposed to be sexy, I was perplexed at the things they let them do when I was in high school. And I believe in the right of these ladies to have a personal life and express it through the Internet.

    What I think these girls should do is contact the press, and refuse to take their profiles down.

    They start out through cheer to get exposure for modeling, porn, fashion etc. So why not just grab that media exposure, and if they do get fired, then they at least went out with some publicity, and people out there will want to interview them, or give them contracts or whatever. There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

  4. The thing is, they don’t want any of these “wholesome” things being freely marketed… as in people pay money for calendars and photos of the cheerleaders… whereas if they were to find their profile, they could just right click and “save as” instead of purchasing the 15 dollar photo.

    It’s nothing about any possible negativity, it’s just business legal talk.

  5. From a legal and sociological perspective.

    If you choose to work with a high level corporation like the Philadelphia Eagles and. ou sign a contract with these rules then you have to follow that corporation’s version of social responsibility.

    These demands are questionable if their not stated directly in a contract but I doubt that such complaint of violation against her civil liberities would be taken seriously.

    If this was brought to a court there would be a lot of issues to consider both implicit and explicit.

    The first one obviously implicit in our society. corporations are running our country and until that changes individual complaints will be take less then serious.

    Secondly, society does not take women seriously and her image is one that is stereotypical which would hurt her credibility.

    Internet cases and violations of freedom of speech are fairly new.
    The addition of information technology to law school curriculums are fairly new.

    The Megan Meier case is an interesting one that presents similar problems. Is it only a problem when corporations draw line of what is indecent? What about when individuals press for internet laws?
    Tina Meier’s daughter is dead so does she have more authority to press for internet regulations than large corporations?


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