Anybody who is up-to-date will know; the Jedi Order is at risk. This doesn’t mean the end of lightsabers, good guys, the Force, etc. The Force is not only used by the Jedi, just ask a Sith, or Ahsoka Tano. What do Jedi Knights have to do with cheerleading? Well, the Force will carry on just fine without the Jedi religion, in the same way the NFL will continue when cheerleading has gone. The recent disputed revelations about the treatment of the Washington Redskins’ cheerleaders can mean only one thing: it is time for cheerleading, in its current form, to end.


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When I watch a game of football I want to see a game of football. Does anybody watch the NFL because they have sparkly dancers? Who watches Formula One to see models on the grid? Does anybody watch a five-hour cycling race waiting for two women on the podium to kiss the winner? I doubt it. Just as I doubt viewing figures would suffer from taking these archaic traditions away. Surely, we as a society, are long past the objectification of women.


The NFL is a bastion of modernization; with video review and remote decision-making, rules are continually updated to improve the game and decrease the risk of injury. Sure, they still measure yardage with a chain, but nobody’s perfect. Soccer, by contrast, is hesitantly introducing the Video Assistant Referee and has done nothing to stamp out the blatant cheating that mars the game. The NFL is well on top of it and for that, applause be given.

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However, praise cannot be bestowed for the way it treats cheerleaders. Aside from the current news, cheerleading is awash with tales of strict regimes, body shaming, image pressures and low pay. It’s a wonderful thing to engage in something big and exciting like an NFL team but ask yourself “why do we have cheerleaders?” In my opinion it’s because men formed the NFL and men like attractive women. The NFL is for entertainment purposes and does it well, but it can always do better and evolve. Let’s find a way to celebrate women and the art of cheerleading more befitting to the culture of 2018.