This question seems more applicable now with the news from the darts and Formula 1 worlds. Darts have removed the walk on girls and Formula 1 has removed grid girls. Both organizations have stated that in today’s social climate they are no longer relevant. So what about cheerleaders?
Let’s start with the darts. For those that don’t know, dart players all have an entrance that basically involves them walking to the stage with some entrance music and a girl walking with them. Once the action starts the girls leave the stage. When the news broke that they were banning the girls I was outraged! Immediately after I thought what was next? Grid girls? Then just this week came the news from F1, grid girls will no longer be used. Again for those that don’t know grid girls stand in front of the driver’s grid slot before the race with a board that has the driver’s car number on it. Yet again I was outraged and I thought what next? Cheerleaders?
Cheerleaders have 2 major differences from the girls in F1 and darts. Firstly, cheerleaders have to work hard to get where they are. They have routines to learn and need to keep in shape, they are athletes. I can’t imagine most of us would be comfortable being thrown in the air and having to put complete trust in someone catching you. Secondly, cheerleaders are part of the attraction of football, certainly in the UK. I asked three people I work with, “what do you think of when you think of the NFL?” I got the usual answers of a game that takes too long and players that are scared to get hit so they wear pads but they all said cheerleaders. I bet if I asked the same questions about darts or F1 I would be waiting for Super Bowl 53 before they said walk on or grid girls.
The last point begs the question, why was I outraged about them being banned? When I thought about it I’m not outraged at all, I’ll still watch darts and I’ll still watch F1. Yes, it will be weird without the girls to begin with but as with any change, you get used to it. So how can anyone be outraged about it apart from the girls that have lost their jobs? On the flip side of this, who is really offended by a woman wearing a dress walking to a stage or standing in front of a grid slot?
So are cheerleaders still needed in football? Absolutely they are and while I’m on my high horse, give the grid girls and walk on girls their jobs back.