20 Strange Rules NFL Cheerleaders Have To Obey That Are Bothering Fans

For many young women, becoming a cheerleader is a dream. And why not? At its best, cheerleading is exciting, athletic, and glamorous — and it puts you on an enormous stage. At its worst, though, it can be anything but. A few years back, The New York Times actually published an exposé detailing some of the craziest rules stipulated for NFL cheerleaders. Frankly, these regulations can range from the absurd to the downright deranged — and they go far beyond the facts ferreted out by the paper’s 2018 article. Here’s a closer look at some of the most ridiculous…

They can’t be seen wearing sweatpants

Cheerleading is a visual experience, with every eye inside a stadium fixed firmly upon the people doing it. It stands to reason, then, that the presentation of cheerleaders is taken very seriously. But in some cases, that idea goes way too far. According to The New York Times, some teams don’t allow their cheerleaders to wear sweatpants. And we’re not just talking about when they’re on the job — they’re not allowed to wear them in their own time, either. Crazy!

They can only drink water when their team is attacking

Cheerleading can be an extremely strenuous activity. It’s thirsty work, but that doesn’t mean cheerleaders can necessarily just take a drink whenever they feel dehydrated. No, they need to time it right. Those cheering on the Carolina Panthers, for example, can reportedly only take a sip when their team is attacking.

They must speak in a “proper” manner — even in private

We’ve already noted how cheerleading is primarily a visual spectacle, but that doesn’t mean certain NFL teams won’t impose strict rules on other aspects of their cheerleaders’ lives. The Buffalo Jills, for one, dictate the way they speak. Their cheerleaders need to avoid certain phrases, such as “dude,” “guys,” “I seen it,” “pee,” and “ain’t,” plus they should completely steer clear of conversations about contentious topics such as politics.

No radical makeovers

The look is always pivotal in the world of cheerleading, and there are rules about that. Cheerleaders can’t just get a makeover whenever they want. No, they need to keep a consistent vibe, and that often needs to be approved by their team. They can’t just go to any old salon, for instance; instead they are expected to attend only selected establishments deemed appropriate by their bosses.