Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders’ Fight for Wages and Respect

Here's another story on the Jills lawsuit, this time from the New York Times.

Alyssa cannot recall the precise moment she realized her dream gig as a Buffalo Bills cheerleader had turned into a nightmare.
Each week held so many indignities.
Supervisors ordered the cheerleaders, known as the Buffalo Jills, to warm up in a frigid, grubby stadium storeroom that smelled of gasoline. They demanded that cheerleaders pay $650 for uniforms. They told the cheerleaders to do jumping jacks to see if flesh jiggled.
Read the rest at

There's not a lot of info that hasn't been out there in the public already, although the conditions in which they warmed up are a bit of an eye-opener.
There is a little bit of misinformation in the article as the writer mentions that the Bills shut down the Jills' operations. The fact of the matter is, it was Stejon Productions that made that call. The Bills had been planning to give Stejon Productions $30K for 2014 to assist with paying the girls, finally, and withdrew that offer after the allegations brought forth in the lawsuit came to light. Considering the Bills hadn't given the Jills anything more than a game ticket and a parking pass for each girl for the past 3 decades as it is, the fact that they withdrew their offer of giving them money hardly seems like it was their call to shut things down. They certainly should have been ensuring the Jills were paid all along though when you consider how profitable NFL franchises, including the Bills, are. The largest way in which pro cheerleaders help NFL teams is in public relations and paying young ladies to represent the team like the Jills have for over 50 years seems like money well-spent. Also, the idea that 150 women tried out is a serious exaggeration as from 2006 on, the number never topped 120 and never made it past 90 from 2009 on. Is it a position that a lot of young women have been wanting to have? Of course, but many have been turned off from it by the lack of compensation.
As far as the girls involved in the lawsuit, they want the Jills back on the field as much as anyone else. They just want to ensure that future Jills are properly compensated and treated fairly instead of "like commodities" in the words of one former Jill. Odds are against the Jills being brought back before the suit is settled but once that's done, we can hope that Bills owner Kim Pegula, a former Houghton College cheerleader herself, will move to #BringBackTheJills and it's up to the fans to keep the Bills aware of how much we want the Jills brought back. I myself have heard from several parents asking about the future of the Jills and the Jr Jills programs as they have been hopeful to get their daughters involved in Jr Jills and eventually the Jills.
You can do your part to help the cause at The best part of the shirts sold at that site is that they not only help get the word out, but profits from the shirts goes to the Hunter's Hope Foundation.

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