By Erin P
Sunday, February 5, seemed like a national holiday for America. Parties were held and people were gathered around the T.V. No, it wasn’t President Trump’s inauguration; it was the Super Bowl. At least half of the people watching were specifically watching for the commercials only, and one of the most memorable ones was from Audi.
Audi hasn’t been on the map for Super Bowl commercials in the past, but they definitely made a splash this year. The commercial was narrated by the father of a young girl explaining how he didn’t know how to tell his daughter that she was less than boys. At the end of the commercial he finally says that he doesn’t have to tell his daughter that because she isn’t less than boys. Audi says there are fighting the wage gap and are making things equal for men and women in their company.
The ironic part of this? It was aired during the Super Bowl where the wage gap between cheerleaders and football players is tremendous. Cheerleaders are suing the NFL for these exact reasons. The NFL committee allegedly wanted to ban the women from being recruited by other teams so they made a flat-rate of pay for each of the women. While the average football player is making $2.5 million a season, cheerleaders make around $1,000 a season. The women have to keep day jobs during the season just to support themselves as well as going to practices and games and staying in shape.
Mascots for the teams are making anywhere between $25,000-$60,000 a year, so it doesn’t seem fair that the cheerleaders cannot support themselves on this salary alone. “I think that the cheerleaders have a very physical job with just as many injuries and dangers as football,” said sophomore Elizabeth Bobr. “Women not being paid as much as men is a problem that has been going on for a very long time and to see that it’s still a major problem is very upsetting.”
Junior and cheer team member Drew Schmidt voiced her opinion also. “It’s not fair, “ she said. “Both sports work hard and to have the money difference be so significant isn’t a good thing,” she continued. Another cheerleader, sophomore Sarah Abrams, commented,” It sucks, I know how hard cheer is and I feel the girls aren’t being respected for what they do.”
Suing the NFL is a step in the right direction for the girls as they hope it will make a difference for them now and in the future.