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US: Cheerleaders accuse NFL of anticompetitive wage deals

 |  February 2, 2017

An antitrust class action accuses the NFL and 26 of its 32 teams of conspiring to suppress wages for cheerleaders in the multibillion-dollar sports enterprise, forcing them to work off the clock and prohibiting them from seeking work in other sports.

Former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader “Jane Doe” claims in the federal class action that NFL and 26 of its 32 teams struck anticompetitive deals designed to underpay their female athletes.

“The conspiracy began with an agreement between senior executives of defendant NFL member teams to eliminate competition for female athletes with the intent and effect of suppressing the compensation and mobility of female athletes,” the 25-page complaint states.

The complaint says the teams agreed to not to recruit each other’s female athletes; to pay all cheerleaders a low, flat rate for each game; not to pay them at all for time spent rehearsing or other mandatory activities, such as community outreach; to bar them from working in other professional sports; and to prohibit them from discussing their pay with each other, to mask “the illegal nature of their employment and compensation.”

Full Content: Jurist

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