Cheerleading is not a sport. Usually when we say that, we get angry looks from girls who yell at us and say “that’s not right! Do you know how hard those girls work?!” Or it’s some other bogus reason that has nothing to do with whether or not cheerleading really is a sport.
Well now it seems official: Cheerleading isn’t a sport because a judge said so.
This came about because of the women’s volleyball team at Quinnipiac University sued the school when they removed volleyball for budgetary reasons. In order to be compliant with Title IX, they decided to replace volleyball with a competitive cheerleading team.
The judge in the case ruled that they could not do this because competitive cheerleading isn’t a real sport.
U.S. District judge Stefan Underhill said that competitive cheerleading is “too underdeveloped and disorganized” to be considered a sport so it can’t satisfy any gender requirements. He added that “competitive cheer may, some time in the future, qualify as a sport under Title IX,” but not now.
Cheerleading isn’t a sport. It’s just not. It was created to get the crowd riled up and cheer on others who were actually playing sports. And how about the fact that it has a huge element of looks? These girls are supposed to look hot, at least they usually tend to. What sport has any basis in how you look? “Tiquin Brown has really seen his draft stock drop once the coaches saw his bad jawline and unibrow at the Combine.”
Deanna Harvey of the New York Daily News tries to defend cheerleading as a sport by writing up a bunch of nonsense that can easily be shot down.
These critics obviously never went through one of our grueling practices or routines. Five days a week, for at least three hours each day, we practiced stunting (two or three girls throwing another member of our squad into the air where she performed a flip), dance routines, gymnastics (layouts, back hand-springs) and long stretches. The basketball, football and swim teams did not put nearly as much time into their daily practices as we did.
You think football is dangerous? Think about flying 10 feet into the air and landing (hopefully) into the arms of a 100-pound girl. Cheerleaders risk paralysis or lifelong back or leg injuries, but will do anything to nail their stunts and routines, no matter how dangerous they may be.
As to the first argument about the football team and swim teams not practicing as hard as the cheerleaders: So what? I practiced playing the guitar a lot, does that make music a sport? By practicing something a lot that makes whatever you are practicing a sport? Stupid argument.
The second part….it’s dangerous? Are you serious? Stunts are dangerous. Jumping out of a plane into enemy territory is dangerous. Hell, war is dangerous. Are those sports? Again, awful argument.
Don’t give us this “it’s difficult” and “we work hard” crap. Brain surgery is difficult, but it’s not a sport. Mechanics work hard. Is it a sport when you change someone’s oil?
I go back to my earlier argument on the origins of cheerleading: How many sports take place on the sidelines of other sports? Careful running down that foul ball, you might collide with the basketball team!
We aren’t claiming that cheerleading isn’t hard. Or that the girls (and some guys) don’t work hard. That doesn’t make something a sport. It doesn’t make it anything less than what it is. It is what it is, and it is what it isn’t….sport. And the judge agrees.