the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Equal Pay for Fat Male Cheerleaders

Trying out for Florida Marlin Manatees

Att:  This post is a bit irrelevant now since Dagny told me in the comments how much female professional cheerleaders make:  50 bucks a game!  That is outrageous, considering what the players make.  Did anyone else know this?!

I believe in equal pay and equal rights.  That’s why I was immediately disturbed by this article about the cheerleading squads of the Florida Marlins.  The Marlins already have a traditional bunch of hot-babe cheerleaders, called the Mermaids.

Now, in the best “stunt” since Bill Veeck sent a midget to the plate, the Marlins are hoping to draw some crowd by introducing an all-male plus-size cheerleading squad called the Manatees.

Real manatees, 1,200-pound mammals sometimes referred to as “sea cows,” are not considered the most agile of creatures and often get caught in boat propellers.

The Marlins want their Manatees to have the same dimensions, but to be decidedly more agile. Men will be judged on how well they dance a choreographed routine.

It’s a funny idea.  After all, most “real” fans look like beer-drinking schlubs.  Why not promote Real Men?  This way, men can get some eye candy from the Mermaids and some fun from the Manatees.

Maybe this will even make cheerleading and dancing more acceptable to young men, so it doesn’t seem so “gay.”

But, there is a HUGE double standard going on here.

Men selected for the Manatees won’t be paid. They’ll get tickets to games they perform at, and the honor of dancing in front of crowds that have been smallest in major league baseball for the last two seasons.

WTF?!  Men, don’t do it!  I know it will be fun for you.  But for tickets to the game YOU PERFORM IN (I hope it ain’t the bleachers) and the HONOR?! You think the Mermaids are so stupid?  You think they are giving you that T&A for the HONOR of the dopey team?

Florida Marlin Mermaids 

They get PAID!  Don’t be suckers.  Men who shake their stuff should get the same compensation as women who do.


  1. Dagny

    Yeah, the women get paid but it’s not that much — $15 to $50 per game. Professional cheerleaders have day jobs. Depending on the market, the ticket may be worth more than what the women are getting paid. The real money is in the calendars and all.

  2. Annie

    Yeah, what Dadny said and really the guys get a lot of eye candy for that cheap price and what do the we get when the
    men dance? Laughs perhaps, but no eye candy.

  3. Neil

    Dagny, are you telling me professional cheerleaders on baseball teams make $15-50 a game?! That cannot be true!

  4. Neil

    Holy crap, Dagny — you are right. That is outlandish! I’m quitting be a writer and becoming a cheerleading unionizer. That is insane! How can this be when a player can make six million dollars?!

  5. wendy

    hey..forget the cash…what about that poor girl on the end?…you cut her in half…Now she can’t even be famous on your small honor!

  6. Julie

    I wonder how much the mascot makes. This is absurd.
    I’d dance in order to see a Phillies game for free though. Too bad there are no cheerleaders in baseball…

  7. Dagny

    Oh, and cheerleaders usually are not suppose to fraternize with the players. So much for having easy access to hooking a rich husband.

  8. Dagny

    Another source of income is to become a choreographer. That’s what former Laker Girl, Paula Abdul, did.

  9. Caron

    Being a male cheerleader is just something else to fill in your resume when you want to become president. You may not make much now, but, someday, you’ll be “The decider.”

  10. psychomom

    rah rah sis boom ba
    eat em eat em
    rah rah rah

    Go Neil!

    The cheerleader in me couldn’t resist.

  11. Julie

    Need to edit my comment. meant to say there are no cheerleaders in Philadelphia…

    Duh Julie.

  12. Bec

    I totally support our cause to get male cheerleaders paid the same as female cheerleader, but they should be paid more than that!

  13. natalie

    i think i would enjoy seeing the manatees…much more entertaining than the girls for sure. well…at least that’s how i see it. there would be breasts either way!

  14. Neil

    No wonder Debbie Did Dallas! She couldn’t make a living as a cheerleader.

    But seriously, this is really outrageous to me. The guy selling the beer makes more money. Unless they are making 50% of every calendar and 100% of every appearance, this is slave labor.

    I wonder if they are unionized…

  15. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    King of Queens syndrome all over again.

  16. fringes

    The Dallas Mavericks had the same type of squad called, I think, The Maniacs. Dunno if they are still together. Something about fighting over cheeseburger ad revenue.

    And your posts are never irrelevant.

  17. Eileen Dover

    I wonder if the male cheerleaders are going to get spray-tanned in their wobbly bits? If so, I’d pay fifty bucks to see just that alone.

  18. suburbancorrespondent

    That is one half-time show I would love to see. And why do these women agree to so little pay?

  19. Stacey

    The cheerleaders must be hoping to hook up with the star players. That’s got to be where the money is.

  20. Shelli

    But the women get $50.00 and they get to watch the game for free.

  21. Lou P.

    It’s a status thing to be an NFL cheerleader. I know a Titans cheerleader here in Nashville, and she’s used that (along with being drop-dead gorgeous) on her resume to land acting/modeling gigs.

  22. Neil

    Lou P. — I don’t buy that status line. Sure it’s status. It’s status being an intern at the New York Times where you work for nothing in the hope of working your way up to a real gig. But being a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys IS as far as you can go with cheerleading.

  23. JChevais

    I was a cheerleader to a junior high football team. Sadly, I made no money… and strangely, I have this odd feeling that I was the pity kid shown to others; “If SHE could get on the team, anyone could.” That sort of thing… I didn’t like the other girls. They looked like they ate make up for breakfast…

  24. better safe than sorry

    i don’t think cheerleaders should be paid, they are there for a reason, as are the fans. aren’t they really an extension of the fan base, organized to lead in cheer to support an organization they believe in and love? if you pay them, don’t you have to pay the fans as well?

  25. Neil

    Better Safe — Maybe I’m not a huge sports fan, so I’m just approaching this from a Hollywood “entertainment” POV. Baseball, or any sport, is a big business. Owners are there to make money. Ballplayers are like movie stars, making huge salaries. The fans come to be entertained and pay their way. If they want to dress up like pieces of cheese, that’s great. It is like people dressing up for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Cheerleaders are employees of the team. The follow rules. They cannot do just do whatever they like, such as drink beer as they perform. They add to the entertainment value of the “show.” They dance for the fans. They spice up the TV show by showing some T&A for the audience at home by dressing up in skimpy outfits. They don’t have the choice to wear sweatsuits one day or gain weight. The women are not just a bunch of crazed fans wanting to do this for the team. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them didn’t know a thing about baseball when they started this gig. Remember, this is not high school sports. This is professional sports.

    I love the Simpsons. Using your argument, why should they bother to pay me since I’m a fan, and it would give me great pleasure to write an episode of the show for free?!

    Why am I the only one feeling that these are “artists” being exploited just because they are so easily interchangeable?

  26. churlita

    I’m a girl, so I don’t care about cheerleaders either male or female. I sure like watching the players though.

  27. Jennifer

    Most of those men have bigger boobs, so maybe they should go ahead and try out for the female squad!

  28. communicatrix

    I think they should get paid more. They are, after all, shaking quite a bit more.

    Quite a bit…

  29. better safe than sorry

    i still don’t think they should be paid, it should be done on an organized volunteer basis, and i have a huge problem with those that are paid volunteers. if they want to do a calendar, do some posters, whatever other perks they get from being associated with the team, that’s great for them, but i think once you start paying cheerleaders, you lose some of the heart of them being there. i don’t think of them as being a part of the pro team, they certainly don’t go on the road with the players. there was a time when even the ushers at the sporting events here were unpaid, not sure if that still holds true today or not.
    as for the simpsons, why don’t you write an episode for them for free, don’t kid yourself, the publicity you would receive from doing that…maybe you’re the fan they are waiting to hear from?

  30. Courtney

    I think that there should not be FAT CHEERLEADERS IT IS VERY GROSS!!!!!!!!!

  31. Nichole

    I love cheerleading!! I have done it since 7th grade. It is my LIFE I love it soooo much. I am very loud soits fits me and Im always happy and perky!!!!

  32. Megan

    I happen to know for a fact that NFL cheerleaders only get paid 50 a game. They do get compensated for some of their events. MlS cheerleaders don’t get paid anything except for a few teams, but it’s less than the NFL

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