The Dallas Cowboys have settled a lawsuit with a former cheerleader who claimed that she sometimes made less than minimum wage while supporting the world’s most valuable sports team, which is worth an estimated $5 billion. Erica Wilkins sued the Cowboys last year, noting that the team’s mascot made more than the cheerleaders. “I remember I did an out of town appearance. It was my first year on the team meaning I’m making $100 flat rate for that appearance,” Wilkins explained. “I think it ended up being like a 16-hour day and I was paid a flat rate of $100 plus taxes being taken out of that. I think it was $88.” Because of Wilkins’ lawsuit, the Cowboys have now increased cheerleader pay from $8 an hour to $12, and doubled their game-day pay from $200 to $400.
Wilkins’ case is just one of numerous ongoing disputes regarding equal pay for female athletes.The U.S. Women’s Soccer team has sued their organization, claiming gender discrimination and unequal pay to their male counterparts.