Dying to Cheer

Bill Pennington of The New York Times brings us the word that cheerleaders suffer far more injuries than do female athletes in any other sport. “They make you sign a medical release when you join a cheerleading team,” one Jessica Smith told Pennington, “They ought to tell the girls that they are signing a death waiver.” This seems like a somewhat perverse consequence of the effort to turn cheerleading into a “real” sport, incorporating less simple chanting and more athleticism. It turns out that what was created was a really dangerous sport that still has the fluffy image of the cheering of yore.