Stereotypes Of Cheerleading

1142 Words5 Pages

ESPN cameras all around, thousands of fans, pride in the air, and a trophy at stake; no, the described scene is not that of a football game, it is a cheerleading competition. When most people think of cheerleaders, they picture the pretty girls that attempt to energize the crowd at local football and basketball games. To many people, an athlete is someone who competes in a sport that involves physical fitness, speed, and endurance, and fans at sporting events do not exactly see it in the peppy girls on the sideline. Cheerleaders are typically only seen on the sidelines, leaving people completely unaware of the work these athletes put in while they are not in front of the crowds. Fans are not there to see the countless hours of hard work, sweat, …show more content…

Stunts are when athletes, flyers, are held in the air by their teammates while displaying pretzel­like positions, fast spinning, and switching feet. With these extreme activities comes an equally high risk of injury for cheerleaders. Flyers are thrown over fifteen feet into the air and rely solely on the strength of their teammates below to catch them. The repercussions that might follow if the flyer were not caught could be catastrophic. According to a 2013 Washington Post article, “cheerleading poses by far the greatest risk of catastrophic injury to young female participants of any sport” (Bernstein). Also, the American Academy of Pediatric stated that cheerleading is responsible for, “sixty­five percent of all catastrophic injuries to girl athletes at the high school level and seventy­one percent at the college level” in their 2012 report and policy statement. Cheerleading, having just as many if not more injuries than other sports, should be considered a sport by schools and organizations in order for athletes to be offered the same medical benefits, such as availability of athletic trainers, improved access to medical care, and better practice facilities to help prevent injuries. Besides the physical aspects, cheerleading should also be viewed as a sport because it follows the true definition of a …show more content…

The widespread lack of knowledge of what cheerleaders do beyond the sidelines induces people to assume that cheerleading is not a sport, leading to the lack of much­needed medical benefits.
Subsequently, in order for an activity to be considered a sport by organizations, there are certain criteria that have to be met. Even though cheerleading follows all aspects of the definition of a sport, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ruled that it is not. It states that in order for an activity to be considered a sport, it has to “have a set of rules or customs, coaches and practice, physical exertion, physical contact with either a teammate or opponent, and competition as the primary goal” (Cheerleading ISN'T a Sport). Cheerleading has a set of rules, coaches, practices and physical exertion but, according to the court, “cheerleading does not meet the fourth and fifth criteria: physical contact and competition goals” (“Cheerleading ISN’T a Sport”). Ultimately, these claims are not necessarily true. Tennis, baseball, volleyball, golf, swimming, diving, gymnastics, skiing, and track & field do not involve physical contact, yet are still considered sports. Despite the fact that there is no competition for cheerleaders at a school’s sports game or pep­rally, many school cheer squads compete at competitions; therefore justifying that cheerleading meets all the criteria to be considered a

Show More
Open Document