“Secret Psych” Tradition Between Football Players and Cheerleaders Is Not Sexist

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Walpole Football responds to false accusations of sexism

Michael Curran

Walpole Football responds to false accusations of sexism
Walpole Football responds to accusations of sexism (Photo/Alex Otero).

The longstanding “Secret Psych” tradition of the cheerleaders purchasing food for the football players before a big game has recently come under attack from students who believe it to be sexist.  These accusations have deeply upset the football players, as one of the core values of the Rebel Football team is treating all women with respect. Almost all of the football players are offended that the team is being represented in such a negative way.

Specifically, the accusation of sexism is imply that – an accusation with no truth in reality.  In reality, the cheerleaders themselves organize this voluntary tradition, while the football players have little to nothing to do with it.  In reality, the cheerleaders never openly expressed having any issues with this tradition to coaches or administrators of the school.  In reality, the captains of the Rebel cheer team assign each cheerleader a football player; the cheerleaders are not told to do this by anyone on the football team.  In reality, this tradition is also not a weekly occurrence. The cheer team decided that they purchased the football team food before a few games this season to lessen the financial burden.

“I don’t think it’s sexist because the cheerleaders do it by choice.  Nobody was asking us to do it,” said junior cheerleader Sam Ordway.

In addition to this misrepresentation, students have ignored what football players do in return for cheerleaders.  Every year, the Walpole Football team organizes a pasta dinner for all those involved in the program the night before the Norwood game. At this dinner, every cheerleader is publicly thanked, applauded, and given a gift bag by one of the senior football players. In addition to the pasta dinner, the football players get their cheerleaders food before their annual Bay State competition, and some cheerleaders even received flowers from their assigned players.

Historically, the football players usually attend the Bay State competition to support the cheerleaders.  Unfortunately, this year, the football team missed the cheerleading competition because the Rebels needed to practice before their playoff game.  The players however did not make this schedule conflict and should not be labeled as sexist for that decision.

“Our practice before a playoff game is a lot more important to our team than attending a cheerleading competition. The fact that this is viewed as sexist is baffling,” said senior Chris Bender.

The football players have also been falsely accused of harassing cheerleaders who decide not to participate in the tradition a certain week, yet that issue has never been brought up once this year as an issue by players, coaches, or administration.

“I have not seen any football player disrespect any of the cheerleaders in any way. If any of the captains saw that we would make sure it stopped,” said senior Captain Matt Ordway.  No action has needed to be taken by any of the captains or coaches against disrespectful players, because mistreatment of the cheerleaders has simply been a non-issue.

It is not surprising that many of the football players are upset about being labeled as sexist, but the cheerleaders are also perturbed by this egregious misinterpretation.

“I don’t feel this tradition is sexist. If the cheerleaders felt this way about it then we would have stopped it,” said junior cheerleader Amanda Acevedo. “We are cheerleaders for the football players, the football players are not cheerleaders for us.”

It is downright unfair and wrong to label the football players as sexist seeing as though the cheerleaders themselves do not feel that they are objects of sexism in any way. It is also equally unfair to label the cheerleaders naive for not feeling as though their team’s tradition is a backwards one.

Unfortunately, it looks like this tradition will be coming to an end. It is ending not because of sexism or disrespect, but because of the unnecessary problems it has caused for both boys and girls involved.  It is sad to see yet another harmless tradition be mislabeled as offensive. While this tradition may be gone, the community should recognize that the accusations of sexism are false.