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Secret Oakland Raider cheerleaders' handbook patronizes, demeans

January 27, 2014|By Robin Abcarian

As it happens, the handbook notes, the Raiders claim to be the only NFL team that does not have a policy forbidding dating and fraternization between the players and cheerleaders. That doesn't mean the team won't make life hell for a cheerleader who dates a player. “We STRONGLY prefer you do not date any of the players,” it says.

The handbook reminds Raiderettes that their contract says: “Excessive and/or improper fraternization with CLUB players or personnel will be grounds for dismissal.”

“Let’s discuss what excessive means to the Raiders,” the handbook says. “There have been a few relationships between the two groups that have resulted in a few happy marriages and lovely children. HOWEVER, we have also had more situations where, quite frankly, the Raider organization and the Raiderettes narrowly escaped ruined reputations.”

“One such example concerns a player who gave Halloween parties every year and many of the Raiderettes attended. This same player was suspended from the team for drug use but also arrested for date rape. For you on the squad who have attended those parties, just think how narrowly you missed having your photo in all the local papers and/or being assaulted.”

(Um, so a woman who is raped by a football player risks a ruined reputation?)

“For this reason,” the handbook screams, “RAIDERETTES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ATTEND PARTIES AT PLAYERS’ HOMES…FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DATE A PLAYER OR FORMER PLAYER, MAKE SURE HE UNDERSTANDS THAT PLAYER PARTIES ARE OFF LIMITS TO YOU.”

(That’s right, ladies: Raiders are rapists who can’t be trusted in social situations.)

“Make a point to find out if a player is married," the handbook urges. "In most cases, he won’t tell you! You can call the Raider office with questions about marital status and I encourage you to do so. Again, he will not tell you he’s married!”

And let’s not leave out the wolves in the front office: “There are some young men on the Raider staff who are married and yet some of the Raiderettes like to call them ‘just to chat.’ No matter how innocent the friendship may be, the fact that you may pop in to visit them when you are in the Raider facility does not look good to others – particularly their wives!” (Who--what?--have stationed nanny cams on their husbands’ desks?)

“There’s not a female alive (or male either) who doesn’t like attention. But you need to learn to deal with attention you receive from the public (and especially the players) without it getting out of hand and going to your head.”

The fraternization warnings conclude with a threat:

“Fans would come to see the games whether or not we had cheerleaders. There are some great teams who do not have cheerleaders, such as the 2010 Champion Green Bay Packers. They are sold out every Sunday. Some teams who previously had cheerleaders do not now have them (Chicago Bears). Because of morality problems with their squads, they decided cheerleaders were too much trouble to deal with…DO NOT BECOME THE TOPIC OF CONVERSATION IN THE LOCKER ROOM AND/OR BY THE RAIDER STAFF. WE EVENTUALLY HEAR EVERYTHING.”

Ladies, whatever happens, it's all your fault. And by all means, welcome to the team!

Reach me at @robinabcarian on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or by email.

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More from Robin Abcarian

Twitter: @robinabcarian

robin.abcarian@latimes.com

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