A couple of months ago, some documents leaked out about the secret treatment of NFL cheerleaders, following a Raiderettes lawsuit. Some of the things that came out of that were surprising, some weren’t. But now, over at Mother Jones the focus has turned to the NHL’s ice girls, with a particular eye on the Flyers:
“Some teams, including the Flyers, have co-ed ice crews, but the men aren’t wearing booty-shorts and crop tops. And while most games are held indoors, teams and their cheer squads sometimes participate in outdoor games and events. In early 2012, the Flyers took part in a three-day outdoor festival and game called the Winter Classic. ‘It was 20 degrees and we were in shorts, with two pairs of stockings,’ a former ice girl told me. Depending on the day, they spent six to nine hours outdoors: ‘It really felt like we were in some kind of torture camp.’ Said another: ‘I’ve never been so cold in my life.’
The Flyers women agreed that they weren’t too cold out on the ice during regular games—they had to skate around for a few minutes in scant clothing, but they were full of adrenaline and could don a jacket when they left the ice. The bigger issue was'”doing doors’—greeting fans as they entered the stadium. ‘When we’re standing at doors for an hour and it’s zero degrees and the doors keep opening,’ said one woman, ‘that’s my biggest bone to pick.'”
But it’s not only the weather and the skimpy clothing combinations:
“During the Winter Classic, the Flyers ice team was not allowed to eat in public, despite the cold and the long hours. One squad member said she ‘had to sneak into a restaurant, get food, and hide in the back of somebody’s pickup truck’ to eat it. Another ice girl befriended a woman who sold hot dogs and snuck her into the back room of her concession area so that she could eat.”
And then, as with the cheerleaders, there’s an issue with pay:
The Flyers women had professional makeup people and hair stylists, but they made significantly less money—$50 for about seven hours of work on game day … A former Flyers veteran said she had generally enjoyed her experience, but added, ‘There should be an ice-girl union to fight for our rights. The girls have never fought for them before.'”
I get it. I really do. But unions aren’t always the answer, and “Local Ice Girls 22” sounds a little nuts. It’d make a hell of a t-shirt though.
It comes down to this same arguments can be made here as they were in the cheerleading cases: That this is a job people fight for and if they don’t want it someone else would happily take their place. That it is basically a volunteer job and the girls should be honored to be able to do it. That it’s an experience. Some of these are legitimate points, some aren’t. Some of the issues raised by the ice girls are legitimate, some seem a little sensationalized. We’ll have to see how this all plays out, and if it reaches the NFL cheerleader lawsuit level.
As for the comments over there? You guys should get in touch with the dude who said “The person who wrote this must sleep in a crib, in adult diapers, with a 40 year-old Teddy Bear, a pacifier, and a smelly blankie.” He’d be welcome here.
And here’s a bonus picture because I think the one on the left is Kyle’s favorite and I don’t wanna ruffle any feathers around here. It’s still just week one:Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports