How Much Money Do NFL Cheerleaders Make?

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The NFL is undisputedly king. Deep pockets and dollar signs abound almost everywhere you look. Cheerleader compensation, however, either continues to lag behind or there is no concrete evidence showing just how far competitive wages have come after a decades-long fight for more through lawsuits and public pressure.

This topic has been a somewhat popular and perennial search term and if you start poking around a little bit, any line that gets started tends to circle back into itself. Back in February, Fast Company published a piece citing an NBC Boston post from 2022, which puts the average NFL cheerleader making $150 per game. That information seems to come from a 2017 ESPN article looking at what both NFL and NBA cheerleaders are earning. And that comes from a 2014 PBS blurb with this paragraph:

The Raiders are not the only team in the league with low-paid cheerleaders. San Diego Chargers cheerleaders are paid $75 per game, for example. Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders earn around $150 per game, and Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders are paid around $100 per game, according tothe Atlantic.

Even more confusingly, multiple different outlets use the $22,500 yearly figure and the math there is a bit behind my grasp. Because even with nine home games and three exhibitions, that would be $1,800. Obviously there are appearance fees and other events but that would account for over 90 percent of the take-home.

Suffice to say, it's worth drawing a somewhat skeptical eye when you read explainer posts anywhere on the internet. There is a lot of cycling going on and we don't seem any closer to having a firm number when it comes to what NFL cheerleaders make. Yes, there are some team-specific numbers floating around but in terms of coming to some sort consensus, the prognosis is negative.

What do they make? Probably not enough.