The Complete Cheerleading Controversy

An opinion on why cheer is definitely not a sport


Gracia Lantis

Cheerleaders encourage the football team during their annual homecoming game. The game took place on September 13th. Football player Zayden Guenin said, “We can’t even hear them while we are playing.”

Joe Stone, Staff Writer

Making exciting posters and encouraging actual sports doesn’t boost the idea that cheerleading is a sport and I firmly believe it is not one.

Lexico Dictionary defines the word sport as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” It is unquestionable that cheerleading meets the criteria for requiring physical activity and skill. “We definitely have athleticism,” Sophomore Emma Flanders said. However, there is another part to this definition to be considered.

Sophia Walsh
The cheer team gets the crowd ready for the first home football game. They played on September 6th.  “We kind of just cheer on the other sports,” said Cheerleader Emma Flanders.

It doesn’t meet all the definitions’ standards. The purpose of cheer is to encourage other sports and cheer them on. They get the crowd involved in the bigger event going on. “We are kind of just there to support our other teams,” said Flanders. Sophomore Luke Rathjen said, “I’m not saying it’s not hard, but they seem to just be cheering on the football team.” This is a common answer throughout students in our high school.

How can you say that cheer is a sport, when the majority of the activity is cheering on the actual sports? Cheerleading is not considered a sport in Nebraska. According to the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA), it is not listed as a sport. “The (NSAA) is connected to another organization, the Nebraska Coaches Association.” Activities Director Jordan Cudney said, “The Coaches Association handles cheer more than the NSAA.”

Jon Brouillette
During a pep rally the cheerleaders hype up the students. They performed a routine during the rally on August, 23rd. “We definitely have athleticism,” said Flanders.

The argument that cheer should be a sport made it all the way to the Supreme Court, but got shut down. The court ruling gets complicated when talking about gender equality in sports and the Title IX court ruling. According to Title IX, there has to be an equal opportunity for boys and girls in sports. Females need to be provided the same opportunities as males in sports. Which means equal funding, facilities, travel budgets and training time. If cheer is recognized as a sport then it will affect other sport’s budgets. Some schools have even tried to cut volleyball programs in order to make cheer a sport. I find it ridiculous that you would cut a sport like volleyball to add something like cheer.

Boosting your school’s morale by doing chants doesn’t qualify as a sport. The way I see cheer is just a sideshow for a bigger show. Seriously, I’m not trying to offend anyone but I personally just don’t think that it should be considered a sport, I don’t really  understand the argument that cheerleading is even on the same level as sports such as football, basketball or volleyball.