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Washington Redskins Cheerleaders: All work, (almost) no pay

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(Photo: Matthew Beck/TBD)

Fans at FedExField for last November’s game between the Washington Redskins and the Minnesota Vikings were instructed to pay close attention: a Pro Bowl berth was about to be announced. Who would it be? A camera panned up and down the field as the audience sat wondering who would receive the honor.

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Long story short

Redskins cheerleaders shake up money for the team, if not themselves.

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The suspense ended when the camera zoomed in on the winner, as the announcer proclaimed, “Chelsea!

Chelsea hadn’t run for 1,000 yards or recorded 20 sacks or returned four kickoffs for touchdowns. She’d been on the sidelines, kicking and dancing for the pleasure of the fans. She apparently did it quite well, or well enough that she was chosen to represent the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders in Honolulu.

Too bad that the Redskins fans will never know who she really is. No last name came over the PA system that day, just “Chelsea.” Imagine the league identifying its all-time leading rusher simply as “Emmitt.”

That the Redskins’ standout cheerleader should remain identity-less, though, squares with her status in the organization and the league. As the NFL labor wars move from the courtroom to press conference and back, all the talk centers on fairness: How to divvy up the NFL’s $9 billion pie?

At the table are the players, the former players, and the owners, all of whom are fighting to get even richer.

And the cheerleaders? Well, whatever all the men decide, they’ll be ready to lose out on plenty of money for the privilege of smiling about it all.

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