Is this season’s Bachelorette Gabby actually an ICU Nurse?
Gabby really is an ICU nurse! She’s been a registered nurse since 2013, which is no mean feat considering she was simultaneously a cheerleader for the Broncos from 2016-2020, plus, y’know, a freaking pandemic happened.
We’ve talked about COVID and the hospital staffing crisis before in Noah’s article. While overwork and poor conditions have caused a lot of burnout for health care workers during the pandemic, the reason that hospitals are short-staffed is the same reason that your local Chipotle is — good, old-fashioned corporate greed.
Gabby’s work on the front lines of the pandemic was recognized by the NFL in 2020 when she was the first woman and cheerleader to be honored with the Pop Warner Humanitarian Award (it’s usually given to NFL players).
She’s also been honored with the 2019 Broncos cheerleaders calendar cover.
Given the way that NFL cheerleaders are typically compensated, we would be shocked to find that either of those honors came with a cash prize.
The NFL doesn’t treat being a “professional” cheerleader as a job at all.
“‘[Pro] dancers are [inexpensive] labor and entertainment for these ball clubs that rake in millions of dollars. We were underpaid and the long hours limited our ability to pursue other opportunities in performance. We didn’t get any health benefits or insurance.
With the Falcons we had to sign a contract that required us to have a full-time job, be a full-time student or be a stay-at-home mom. So, I don’t think money was why people chose to do it,’ Griffith said. ‘Could they have paid us more? Absolutely.’”
For example, while the Broncos can profit by selling calendars featuring Gabby in a bikini, she probably would not have been allowed to post photos of herself that were deemed inappropriate on her own social media.
She also likely would not have been allowed to accept certain types of modeling jobs or done anything to profit off her association with the team, which was barely paying her. That is, if she even had time, considering what a massive time commitment being a cheerleader is, in addition to still needing a regular job.
These time commitments include being rented out by the team to attend events. While teams try to spin it by playing up discounted charity appearances, it costs $1200 an hour to have two Broncos cheerleaders attend your golf tournament. The cheerleaders see almost none of that money and, again, would not be allowed to, say, earn money off a club appearance using the team name or uniform (and probably not at all).
The “real compensation” for being a cheerleader is supposed to be the honor and prestige of being chosen. An honor that has to be re-earned every year.
As the very well-meaning ESPN article in which Kim Griffith is quoted above says:
“Surely, it shouldn’t be that teams underpay cheerleaders because they know the women love dancing and are willing to accept it. For one, no other industry comes to mind in which employees are expected to supplement their incomes (to the point of earning wages below state and federal minimum wage standards) based simply on how much they love their work [emphasis added].”
The exploitation of dancers is wrong so we appreciate the sentiment, but if you’ve ever visited this site before, you can probably think of a number of industries in which employees are under-compensated based on how much they love their work. As in, basically any female-dominated profession or any profession that’s for the public good. Like Gabby’s current profession of nursing, as well as modeling, conservation, and teaching.
Gabby retired from cheerleading in 2020.
While Gabby is a standout now, her past is classic Bachelor contestant.
She has a pageant history, having won the local title of “Miss O’Fallon” in 2008.
(We’re really glad she didn’t make it on the show because if you think those Bachelor group therapy dates are bad, you should see some of the things Tyra did to those girls!)
We think Gabby ended up exactly where she is supposed to be. We can’t imagine having the energy it takes to be an ICU nurse or an NFL cheerleader — much less both at the same time — but we imagine that, as one of our Bachelorettes, Gabby will easily be able to keep up with dating 32 guys at the same time.
We wish her a future full of paid appearances that she actually gets paid for.
xo Your Nosy Friends Who Got Tired Just Writing About Gabby’s Schedule