NFL teams employ noncheering cheerleaders who serve as scantily clad hostesses and are frequently paid minimum wage to mingle with fans.
The women often dressed exactly the same as cheerleaders dancing on the field.
“It’s a really big secret, and now you know about it,” said Jackie Chambers, 33, a model with more than a decade of experience who worked as a Houston Texans noncheering cheerleader last season. “But teams don’t want fans to know about it. All of the cheerleaders are supposed to blend in with each other.”
The Texans, Patriots, Saints and Washington are among the teams that use or have used this type of tactic.
While sports has generally moved away from the concept of women-as-accessories to events, the NFL has moved in the opposite direction.
In interviews with six former ambassadors of Washington, the women described the job as being more of a sexualized saleswoman than a cheerleader.
“You thought it was going to be so glamorous and glitzy, like what the Cowboys’ cheerleaders have, but then you realized that they wanted to put you in your place as an ambassador,” said one former ambassador.
One ambassador dreaded working at team-sponsored tailgate parties where intoxicated men would grab and hug them while also making inappropriate comments.