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HBO’s Kremer reports on Jills lawsuit

HBO’s Kremer reports on Jills lawsuit Maria on left, and Alyssa, two of five former Buffalo Jills who sued the Bills for not paying them the minimum wage for their appearances at Bills games and events and for the degrading treatment they received at some events, were interviewed by HBO’s Andrea Kremer. The interviews will air at 10 p.m. Tuesday during HBO’s “Real Sports” magazine show.. (John Hickey / Buffalo News)


The lawsuit filed this spring this year by five former members of the Buffalo Jills has attracted national attention. Andrea Kremer of HBO’s “Real Sports” talks to two of the former Jills who are suing the Buffalo Bills and the management of the cheerleading organization. Kremer’s report will air on the magazine show on Tuesday at 10 p.m.

Five ex-Jills in late April sued the NFL team, Stejon Productions – the company that manages the cheerleading squad – and Citadel Communications, the Jills’ previous manager, in New York State Supreme Court.

Two of the former Jills, Maria P. and Alyssa U., give their side of the story in interviews with Kremer. (The plaintiffs are identified only by their first names and last initials in court papers.)

The two women maintain they were paid nothing to perform at Bills home games, and were paid considerably less than minimum wage over the course of their employment as Jills.

Alyssa U. tells Kremer that she went into debt to be a Jill, using student loan money to pay for her $650 uniform and other expenses. The women also detail what they say were degrading activities in which they had to participate, including something called the jiggle test where the women had to perform 10 jumping jacks and be evaluated on the appearance of their bodies during that exercise. If their appearances were found wanting in the jiggling test, they could be barred from performing on the field on any given Sunday.

According to the report, there were rules in the Jills handbook dictating what kind of tampons the women should use. That had little to do with cheerleading, according to the two women, but was about Jills management exerting control over them.

Kremer also interviews Stephanie Mateczun, the president of Stejon Productions, which manages the cheerleaders. Mateczun maintains that “these girls were never made to do anything they never have wanted to do. We were creating a team of just well-rounded young ladies and they could have resigned at any time.”

Mateczun, in the interview, also defends the so-called jiggle test, saying that “you are in a very unforgiving uniform. So it’s important that you were physically fit.”

The former Jills interviewed by Kremer also say they were directed to work at golf tournaments that involved some activities that they found degrading, including being made to ride on the lap of golfers who “won” the women in an auction.

Kremer’s report also touches upon similar lawsuits filed against the cheering squads for the Oakland Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals.


  • John

    NFL Teams swim in cash, and they treat cheerleaders like feudal serfs. "It's just business" is simply the self-brainwashed words of neophytes of greed as a religion. Indefensible, and wrong.

    • JT

      The way these NFL teams throw cash around it is absolutely sickening.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.