After months of actively dodging around the issue, an issue born off years of nattering from 45-year-old fans belching buffalo sauce while discussing how they want some flesh to distract them from a bad football game, the Detroit Lions announced Monday that they would once and for all add official cheerleaders to their selection of game day on-field activities.
In a statement, Rod Wood said, "After thorough consideration and receiving input from our fans through season ticket member surveys and focus groups, we believe that this is an opportunity to elevate our game day entertainment."
Thrilled to announce the addition of Detroit @Lions Cheerleaders! More info: https://t.co/QmAseHw8LX #DETLionsCheer pic.twitter.com/4xgKyHV7zX— #DETLionsCheer (@DETLionsCheer) June 13, 2016
Heading up the operation of creating the Lions cheerleader squad is Rebecca Girard-Smoker, now with the title of Director of Detroit Lions Cheerleaders. Auditions are expected to begin Saturday, June 25 at Ford Field.
The addition of cheerleaders come at a time when the practice and pay of the entertainers is under scrutiny across the NFL. The Raiders, Bengals, Buccaneers, Jets and Bills have all been taken to court over unlivable wages and demeaning, unpaid additional activities. In particular, Bills cheerleaders were subjected to bewildering regulations in order to perform for the team. The Lions will need to be very above board in how they put together their own cheerleader squad in this current climate.
It is, however, an issue that's been at the forefront of a certain section of Lions' fans minds for quite a while, for whatever it's worth. Of course, the addition of cheerleaders also sets up for some very easy headlines...
In the absence of anything on the field to cheer for the last several decades, the Lions are hiring cheerleaders https://t.co/DCySot9KOJ— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 13, 2016