Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Texans’ cheer coach quits

Of interest.

Altovise Gary, the longtime director of the Houston Texans cheerleaders squad who was named as a defendant in one of two recent federal court lawsuits filed against the team, has resigned, a team spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Gary resigned on her own accord, citing what team spokeswoman Amy Palcic described as personal reasons. The team had no additional comment on her departure.

[…]

Gary was named as a defendant in a case filed in May by a former cheerleader who accused her of body-shaming and failing to act on complaints that cheerleaders were physically assaulted by fans. She was not named as a defendant in a second suit filed days later by five former cheerleaders against the team.

Both suits were dismissed and the former cheerleaders’ complaints submitted to arbitration, as required by their contracts with the team.

Houston attorney Bruse Loyd, who filed the first lawsuit that included Gary as a defendant, said he would have no comment on Gary’s resignation.

Houston attorney Kimberley Spurlock, who along with noted women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred filed the second lawsuit, said in a statement: “We believe that our lawsuit and the voices of our brave clients have made an important impact on the Houston Texans. As a result of their courage, there appears to be an important change taking place in the staff.

“However, until there is justice for the cheerleaders by paying them fairly and compensating them by paying them the wages that they are due, we will continue our fight to win them the respect and dignity to which they are entitled and which is long overdue.”

See here, here, and here for the background. I don’t have much to add to this, I will just reiterate my positions that 1) harassment and abuse of any kind should not be tolerated, and 2) it’s a travesty that the multi-billion dollar business that is the NFL refuses to pay its cheerleaders a wage the reflects their worth. Not sure what else there is to say.

Related Posts:

17 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    ” it’s a travesty that the multi-billion dollar business that is the NFL refuses to pay its cheerleaders a wage the reflects their worth.”

    Kuff, everyone thinks they deserve more pay to reflect their worth. The cheerleaders and the firefighters are both examples of this. There’s just this pesky problem of supply and demand that keeps rearing its ugly head. At the wages offered, both the cheerleaders and the firefighters get all the qualified applicants they want. That means they are getting paid enough already.

    As far as the ‘fat shaming,’ give me a break. These women got hired specifically for their looks. They are trading on their looks for their jobs. The only part of their claims that seem to have merit is being required to work off the clock. They have a valid complaint about that, but even then, if this was a problem, why not say so right up front? They were told up front they would be required to post to social media and wouldn’t get paid for that time. They chose to take the job anyway, crying about it now is sour grapes. If that was a problem, why take the job, ladies?

  2. david fagan says:

    This argument of ‘supply and demand’ has an underlying connotation that it exists within a free market, and a production model. The NFL, and the City of Houston, would not qualify as a free market. A free market being “an economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses.” If it were an unrestricted competition, the cheerleaders would not have to resort to arbitration. And, if the NFL valued unrestricted competition, thus lending to a free market, thus giving value to this ‘supply and demand’ model, they would allow the cheerleaders the same opportunities they pay their players. But, when it comes to their players, they ‘pay for talent’ which this is also not necessarily true because it becomes just as political as other issues. The supply and demand argument is a void argument because each side is manipulated to the point of nonrecognition in the business, and government realms. The true idea of supply and demand exists only in business text books, so do not apply it to people and the value of the work they bring.

  3. Steve Houston says:

    I’d say that there is no travesty as the Texans organization does pay them what they are worth. If they didn’t, the team wouldn’t have over 400 applicants tryout each year for the 30-odd spots.

    David, just because the analogy isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean it has no basis in truth. “Supply and Demand and the Labor Market. … Wage rates are simply the price of labor and as such, are determined like all other prices on the market. The intersection of the supply and demand curves for labor indicates the equilibrium, or market clearing, wage rate for certain types of labor.” Makinac

    Nobody put a gun to your head to join HFD, nobody is forcing you to stay against your will, and you are free to leave whenever you see fit to go become an insurance agent, house painter, convenience store clerk, or whatever job your skills can qualify for. Supply & demand curves are not static, nor are they as simple as the two dimensional graphs taught to freshmen students, but they form a very real purpose of displaying an economic truth, you just don’t happen to like that truth because it gets in your way of seeking higher wages. In a totally unrestricted market, you wouldn’t have a union fighting tooth and nail, using a “by any means necessary” approach to screwing taxpayers at every turn so be thankful for that.

  4. Jules says:

    As there become fewer employers, the people will have to fight harder for fair wages.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    @Jules,

    Thankfully, Trump is fostering a business environment where more people are going into business, so not only are there more employers, there are also more jobs available, and this is going on in all demographics.

    https://thepoliticalinsider.com/black-owned-businesses-increase-under-trump/

    @David:

    The cheerleaders are paid enough already, for reasons Steve has laid out. What you fail to give consideration to is, the perks and intangibles that come with that minimum wage cheerleading job. The cheerleaders get exposure, no pun intended. The get to mix and mingle with people who can help their careers. How many have parlayed their cheer job into a modeling career? How many have married well because of their exposure as a cheer leader? How many people have put up with a bad boss because the benefits of the job outweighed the negatives?

    You’d probably say a college kid interning at a company for no pay or for minimum wage is also not being paid enough. The college kid is willing to do the job, because he or she expects other benefits besides pay, if any….experience, exposure, potential job opportunities. The college kid is willingly doing the intern job, the cheerleaders voluntarily do the cheerleading job, and firefighters voluntarily do their jobs. You have to admit, working a few 24 hour shifts per month has an appeal to many who work 5 days a week. Fewer days worked means markedly less time commuting to and from work, less commuting expense, less rush hour traffic headaches, and more time to pursue other interests or part time jobs. Lots of folks would also appreciate having their meals at work, having shower, gym, and sleeping facilities at work. Again, intangibles are part of the equation that the ex cheerleaders refuse to acknowledge.

  6. Ross says:

    @Bill, most of those unpaid internships are illegal. Companies have lost big time in court over those unpaid positions.

    The cheer leaders aren’t allowed to do many things that would compensate them for the work they do. They deserve to be paid a fair wage for their efforts.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    Ross,

    If the cheerleaders want to get paid what they are worth, they should quit en masse, and all get jobs at Twin Peaks or Hooters.

  8. David Fagan says:

    Give the cheerleaders the same amount of branding rights given to others, it’s their face, their body, they should have to power and influence to control their own image and get compensated the same way as the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of other aspiring football players. I would support every cheerleader in America taking a knee this football season for the rights to their own image.

    Steve,……………………..you are monotonous and boring……………..

  9. Manny Barrera says:

    Steve so next time there is an opening if I apply that would make it 401 applicants, the fact that I am an old fat man that can’t dance a lick makes no difference.

    I saw two arguments one was more pay and the other request to be treated decently.

    When one has responsibilities one must sometimes endure inhumane treatment.

    I learned that when I was still a teen (19) and working at a refinery. There were some contract workers who were sent to do work that was not dangerous and harmful to their health and they were often treated worse than animals. I asked one of them why they took the abuse, he told me had a family to support.

    I do know that the fact that they are not allowed sue means that the NFL is aware that some things must not be done right and want to cover their asses.

  10. Manny Barrera says:

    was dangerous

  11. Steve Houston says:

    Manny, at least two of the applicants were men this year and neither of them was in as good shape as the bulk of the women and from what I was told, the guys lacked in their dancing skills too. They did not earn a spot. Feel free to apply next year as you see fit, it might be worth a few laughs. I have yet to see a good argument for paying them a higher rate, though some accommodation might be made if they are spending many hours on social media or doing private appearances. But cries of inhumane treatment fall short, the examples provided make me think “First World Privilege”.

    When it comes to your refinery work from so many decades ago, I strongly suspect the work environment has improved over time but I’d like to know what animals were so employed for comparison purposes, especially if they were being treated better than the man-animals. As far as the arbitration clause the NFL uses, the clause itself is not evidence of wrong doing, it is evidence that the league trusts people too dumb to avoid jury duty to do the right thing when faced with facts and emotions, emotions winning out for too many people.

    David, your latest personal attack is more evidence that you lack a factual basis to disagree with me. As soon as the cheerleaders are no longer employed by the team, they can brand anything they like, just so long as they do not use the league/team logo or mention any past affiliation, yes? But let them take a knee and see just how quickly their value drops to zero for many teams.

  12. Manny Barrera says:

    Steve I know that you are not as dense as your statement seems to make you, so let me spell it out to make sure that you understand.

    The fact that 400 persons applied does not mean much, just like your constant argument as to why firemen and women don’t deserve pay increases. You nor I know the qualifications of the persons applying.

    Let us advertise for a position of CEO and offer two million dollars a year, if hundreds or thousands apply we will pay the selected person minimum wage, after all a lot of people applied.

    Let us open football camps to anyone that wants to tryout, I expect that tens of thousands will try out, but because such a large number applied we will pay those selected no more than $50,000 a year, since so many people applied.

    I am sorry to hear that you consider juries to be stupid, must be tough living in a world with people dumber than you.

    As to the animals let me give a first hand experience. When the farm workers in South Texas were marching to Austin seeking better pay, some farmers said they were like donkeys and did not deserve more. But I understand where people like you are coming from.

    I have a photo of dad and uncle with the donkey the strikers took when they marched in support of the farm workers.

    They still refer to farm workers as animals.

    https://klipsunmagazine.com/a-feud-in-the-field-7b8f591dac33

  13. Steve Houston says:

    Manny, of course I live in a world with people dumber than me, you’re here and so is david, right? Seriously though, I did not claim the firefighters did not deserve a raise, in fact I’ve said repeatedly that they should get a raise, just not this one. The last time they received a 26% raise was just after the rest of you city workers took massive pension cuts, then leading to all the austerity measures by Mayor Parker that resulted in almost 1000 layoffs to municipal workers, tremendous cost increases to health insurance, and hiring freezes.

    As far as the number of qualified applicants for HFD positions, it’s a matter of public record if that interests you in the slightest. Go check it out on your own. That said, if you’re offering a salary but then reneging on that salary, watch what happens. Those applying for HFD or the cheer leading squad can find employment elsewhere if they don’t like the stated terms. The arbitrator can determine if the burden of tweeting on social media once in awhile is overly time consuming or those special appearances require more compensation but if you ask the applicants during the spring camp, I’m willing to bet they don’t lose too many candidates over either.

    So if your march comment is first hand, how come you weren’t in the picture?

  14. Manny Barrera says:

    Nothing will happen because there will be an arbitration clause some where.

    There is no edit button on this blog, left up the word up to 2 million, but I figured you would look at that one.

    It was in the 60s, cameras are not what they are today, It was a Brownie if I remember correct. It was the first camera I ever owned. https://www.brownie-camera.com/

    Quoting how many people apply does not make for a good argument as to how much one should be paid.

    But you are hard headed (So am I) so let me leave you with the following article.

    http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-fi-farms-immigration/

    Maybe they should be paying them $100,000 a year since very few people are applying.

  15. Manny Barrera says:

    Hit Post and comment disappeared, so shorter version.

    If we go by how many people apply then farm workers that are here legally here should be making about $100,000 a year minimum.

    http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-fi-farms-immigration/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/15/north-carolina-needed-6500-farm-workers-only-7-americans-stuck-it-out/?utm_term=.a3eb984b5cb7

    Someone has to take the picture, those old Brownies did not have a button to wait a few second so one could get in the picture. My first camera. Besides I always have me with me, but my dad is not longer with here. So I don’t have that many photos of myself.

    https://www.brownie-camera.com/

  16. Manny Barrera says:

    Steve you have never been poor and desperate, that is obvious.