In the past year or two, there has been increased awareness of the "bovine feces" with which professional cheerleaders are expected to deal. People across the sports world have offered interesting tidbits of information detailing working conditions that would be grounds for an awesome harassment lawsuit in any normal company. There has been some hinting at the idea that they could unionize, but we have to look at whether such a union could ever actually wield any real power. That's a debate for another time.
The NFL has been the league most heavily scrutinized for cheerleader treatment due to the fact that, in differing degrees team to team, cheerleaders are treated like garbage. Their online presences are controlled, sexual harassment is essentially a non-issue and obviously their hair, makeup and weight are watched constantly. This is all to be expected and nobody with a brain wanting to be an NFL cheerleader is expecting anything less. Ultimately, it wouldn't be so bad if the girls were paid anything more than peanuts, but they make next to nothing.
With regard to their personal lives, they are discouraged from "fraternizing" with players and both players and cheerleaders are advised not to date each other. There are, however, those who go against this guideline. Plenty of players and cheerleaders have hooked up, dated and a few have married. Here is our list of the top athletes who have fooled around with or had relationships with cheerleaders. Some dated cheerleaders who worked for their teams, while others dated ladies involved with different sports altogether.
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16 Honorable Mention: Kobe Bryant (MAYBE)
For rumors about sexual misconduct and a rough romantic life in the NBA, look no further than The Mamba. We're all familiar with his sexual assault allegations, divorce and such, but there was a rumor that he was involved with a Lakers cheerleader several years ago. Her name was Vanessa (same as his wife) apparently, but ultimately, this was never proven, so we must keep Kobe in the honorable (dishonorable?) mention section.
15 Denny Hamlin - Jordan Fish
Our number fifteen is NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, who is currently married to Jordan Fish. She was a cheerleader for the Charlotte Bobcats years ago and met Hamlin during a game. The two did not date at first, as Hamlin had a girlfriend at the time. The two broke up and he started dating Fish after he sponsored her for a beauty pageant. The rest is history. The two of them had a kid back in 2013.
14 Sam LeCure - Lauren Gardner
Cincinnati Reds' pitcher Sam LeCure has not been a "cure" for the team, as his numbers from the mound have been very hot and cold over the last five seasons. With that said, we can say nothing but good things about his taste in women. We aren't sure if they are still together, but for a couple of years LeCure was dating Lauren Gardner. In 2008, she was a cheerleader for the Denver Broncos. Since then she has become a broadcaster, having worked with the Lingerie (now Legends) Football League and CBS.
13 Matthew Stafford - Kelly Hall
Well, the Detroit Lions look like trash this year but at least their quarterback gets to return home every night to a ten. Matt Stafford and his wife Kelly were married earlier in 2015 and they had been dating since they were in university, having met at Georgia. This was during the three years in which Stafford took the Bulldogs to three straight Bowl victories. She was a cheerleader at Georgia and while she doesn't still wave pom-poms at the games, she has been active on social media by supporting her husband during his team's rough start to this season.
12 Laynce Nix - Brooke Sorenson
Though a versatile fielder, Nix's hitting was below average and very streaky, not to mention his injury-riddled career. He retired in 2013 after eleven years in MLB spread out over five different teams. Growing up in Texas and through his adulthood, Laynce Nix was a football fan and while baseball was how he made his career, he never lost his love of the gridiron.
He married Brooke Sorenson back in 2011, when she was a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys. She worked for them for a few years and is essentially what we all expect a DCC babe to look like. She now works for the Miami Dolphins cheer squad.
11 Zack Greinke - Emily Kuchar
With three All-Star selections, one Cy Young, a Golden Glove and a Silver Slugger award, Greinke has plenty to show off to the ladies. He had a rough first few years in the league marked by some emotional distress, but has settled in as a consistently impressive player since.
He married his long time girlfriend Emily Kuchar a few years ago and they had their first kid back in July. She is a former Dallas Cowboys girl and also won the Miss Daytona Beach in 2008.
10 Hunter Mahan - Kandi Harris
Most of the time when I write an article that has a golfer in it, it's about Tiger Woods and talking about his filthy (awesome) activities about which we all found out back in 2009 and 2010. Being able to use Mahan in this one is a breath of fresh, unsullied air.
Get this, his wife, like those of Zack Greinke and Laynce Nix, is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. He married Kandi Harris back in 2011 and the couple have a daughter.
9 David Nelson - Kelsi Reich
For you history majors out there, how funny would it be if Kelsi Reich had a kid and named it "Third"? Get it, Third Reich?
If that went over your head, it may be time to read some more books and not the kind with pictures. Back to sports now, David Nelson is an NFL wide receiver who has played with four different teams over a six year career. He won two National Championships with the Florida Gators, catching passes from Tim Tebow.
In 2011, while playing for the Buffalo Bills, he caught a touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick and ran the ball over half the field to hug his girlfriend, Kelsi, who was a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader at the time.
8 Will Middlebrooks - Ann Lux
At number eight, we come to another Texan who has dated a Cowboys cheerleader. Third baseman and former shortstop Will Middlebrooks dated DCC girl Ann Lux and the two were engaged for some time, but broke up in late 2012. Don't feel too bad for either one of them, as Middlebrooks won the World Series with the Red Sox the year after and is now engaged to sportscaster Jenny Dell and Lux is engaged to Brent Long, a PGA Tour golfer.
7 Ladislav Smid - Amanda Vanderpool
Czech defenseman Ladislav Smid was drafted back in 2004 and spent two seasons playing on the American west coast for the Portland Pirates; the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate. During that time he dated a cheerleader for the Ducks, Amanda Vanderpool. They didn't date for too long and he ultimately ended up in Alberta, Canada, first playing for the Edmonton Oilers and more recently the Calgary Flames. These two have been broken up for almost a decade at this point, but either way, you don't forget a woman like that. Good for him.
6 Ryan Howard - Krystle Campbell (Howard)
Ryan Howard is one of the most successful hitters in baseball, holds tons of records and won the 2008 World Series Championship with the Phillies. What I'm getting at is that it wouldn't make sense if his wife wasn't smoking hot.
Krystle Campbell was cheerleading for the Philadelphia Eagles when the two met and they married in 2012. Around the end of that year there were pictures of Krystle "trashing the dress" while in the surf in Maui.
5 Troy Aikman - Abigail Klein
Six Pro Bowl years, inductions into both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and three Super Bowl rings may be the best way to sum up quarterback-turned-broadcaster Troy Aikman's amazing career. I could have listed him up with Kobe Bryant, but I have faith in the former Cowboy. I said I could have listed him with Kobe because some have suggested that he and former Cowboys cheerleader Abigail Klein were just friends, but there's no way Troy didn't get with her. Klein is unbelievably pretty (in case you hadn't noticed) and they dated for a little while after his divorce back in 2011.
4 Dwight Howard - Royce Reed
Dwight Howard is an amazing basketball player, offering a great combination of size, speed and instincts. He's nowhere near perfect and had an issue with turnovers for a couple of years, but overall he's impressive. He's an interesting figure off the court too. He carries himself as a deeply spiritual Christian, but has a couple of blemishes on his religious resume. It may be an empty allegation but adult film star Mary Carey said he cornered her in a bathroom and whipped out his organ.
But this article is about cheerleaders and apparently he knocked one up. Royce Reed is the mother of his son and worked as a cheerleader for the Orlando Magic back in 2005 and 2006. The two dated for a while and just under a year later, a kid showed up. According to Reed, Howard isn't much of a father, as she has implied that he has abused their son. Who knows what the truth is? This seems like a nasty situation. I'll move on.
3 Alex Smith - Elizabeth Barry
The best average quarterback in the league title belongs to Alex Smith right now. Between his time with the San Francisco 49ers and the Chiefs, Smith has made a solid name for himself, as one of those guys who isn't a perennial All-Pro, but can manage games and put teams in the playoffs from time to time. In 2014, he also posted a confusing stat for not throwing a touchdown pass to a wide receiver.
His wife Elizabeth was a cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders when they met. He was playing for the 49ers at the time. The two were married in 2009 and have two children. For anyone wondering, yep, she's still hot.
2 Jimmer Fredette - Whitney Wonnacott
The Jimmer ranks among the rare NBA players who can just put the ball through the basket. It may look unorthodox sometimes, but much like a dirty cop who doesn't play by the rules, he gets results. While his NBA career so far has been impressive enough for him to score any number of women, it was during his time at BYU that he met and got engaged to one of the BYU Cougars' cheerleaders. He and Whitney Wonnacott were married back in 2012.
1 Chris Cooley - Christy Oglevee
Despite just a nine year career, Chris Cooley is arguably the best tight end the Washington Redskins have ever had. The two time Pro Bowl selection and 2005 All-Pro hooked up with and dated Christy Oglevee before she lost her job as a cheerleader for fraternizing with a player.
The two got married a couple of years later in 2008, so there were no hard feelings on the "loss of job" front. They divorced in late 2012.
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