Is Cheerleading a Sport?

CheerleadingBy Silas Land

Cheerleaders aren’t really considered, or even valued, as athletes. According to the California legislation, the cheerleaders at the state’s main university aren’t even paid as much as fast food workers.

“Raiders cheerleaders were paid $125 per home game, or $1,250 per season, in a contract that included hours of unpaid rehearsals and charity and commercial appearances,” attorney Sharon Vinick from the New York Post says. She represented the Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders in a lawsuit against them.

Sophomore Yonna Coleman is a Whetstone Braves Cheerleader. She definitely considers the activity a sport. “There is so much physical movement involved from doing jumps, dancing, and cheering,” Yonna said. Sophomore Oshea Jones also believes cheerleading should be counted as a sport. He explains why, by saying: “There’s practices, they cheer for sports events.”

Many make generalizations about male athletes, including the assumption that they all believe female sports aren’t as important as male sports. The Whetstone Football team’s Fullback and Guard don’t fit into that stereotype. Sophomore Tabbe Johnson is in favor of cheerleading being labeled as a sport. “There is competition between one cheerleader and another,” Johnson says. Tabbe also thinks cheerleading can be hard work. “You have to try not to drop the girl, hold girls up, and remember cheers.”

Not everyone thinks cheerleading is an active sport. Especially Marcus Benson, a junior here at Whetstone, and the football team’s Running Back. He says “No [cheerleading isn’t a sport], they really don’t do anything but practice and clap,” Benson explains. “If it was a sport I think it would be all year round, for every sport.”

Marcus isn’t the only one who doesn’t support cheerleading. Senior Brashawn Curry believes cheerleading “is just dancing”. Carter also has a few choice words for cheerleaders during games and sporting events: “Nobody’s paying attention to you, they’re watching the game.”

There are different opinions when it comes to cheerleading. Whatever cheerleading is, sport or not, it is respected and enjoyed by plenty.

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