Citi Every Step of the Way


Today marked the start of the 2014 paralympics in Sochi, and while many of us pay more attention to the “mainstream” Olympics event, the talented athletes who take part in the paralympics deserve to be highlighted too! Two of the paralympians representing the USA are Team Citi athletes…

Alana Nichols is a 2 sport athlete who can boast about becoming the FIRST American Woman to win gold at both summer and winter games. In 2008 in Beijing she earned a gold medal in wheelchair basketball and 2010 in Vancouver for Alpine Skiing. This time around in Sochi she will compete for more gold in Alpine Skiing. The other Citi athlete is Rico Roman, a US Army Veteran who is playing for Team USA in sled hockey at the 2014 Paralympics.

Both of these amazing athletes along with 7 other Team Citi athletes have each teamed up with a US Olympic, Paralympic or Community program in need….and YOU can help decide where Citi’s “Every Step of the Way” $500,000 donation goes! All it takes is a click and you can decide to award Citi’s donation to any of the 9 programs.

Watch this video and then visit the official Citi Every Step of the Way page to help decide where the money goes!! >> http://citi.us/1ek5E7S

  • U.S. Paralympian Alana Nichols is partnering with The Team USA Paralympic Champions Fund to increase financial support for athletes pursuing the dream of participating in the Paralympics.
  • U.S. Paralympic athlete Rico Roman is teaming up with the Operation Comfort to give wounded veterans the opportunity to participate in sled hockey by giving them the financial support and equipment they need to succeed!

So, what are you waiting for!?!? These programs need your help and these athletes are competing with everything they’ve got to make the USA proud! You make the call and help award Citi’s $500k donation.


 

This post was created in partnership with Citi®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Raiderette LOW PAY Lawsuit – MY THOUGHTS!!!

Yes, I was an Oakland Raiderette…and am still a proud alumni! So news of a lawsuit by a current – on her way out former Raiderette from the most recent season has hit the media, and I couldn’t resist giving my 2 cents, okay it’s more like a lot of SENSE!! And this all comes on the heels of a new petition on behalf of ALL NFL Cheerleaders (completely unrelated) to get MORE PAY!

Check these links for background:

Busted Coverage – Cheerleader Sues Raiders for Withholding Pay & Not Paying Minimum Wage **this article contains a copy of the actual lawsuit paperwork filed**
ESPN – Cheerleader Files Suit Against Raiders
Pay Petition – for all NFL Teams Cheerleaders

But seriously, this is sparking so much debate among Raiderette Alumni and people in general, that I just had to put my thoughts down and share…so here goes…

YES…being a PRO TEAM Dancer/Cheerleader is a low paying job…I’ve been on 3 teams in the NBA and NFL. Do I believe the compensation should be more, yes, that would be nice to be paid for my time and talent, but here’s the reality (from my dancing days):

  • Cheerleaders (Raiders) are paid a per game stipend, practice is not paid and certain community/charity events may also be non paid. There are other paid appearance opportunities and you are always told the pay, location and summary of all events before you sign up. Other pro teams do receive a minimum wage for practice. You also receive tickets for the game as part of the compensation.
  • Team members sign a contract acknowledging and agreeing to the terms of pay, attendance, expectations (hair, makeup, nails, citizenship, etc…), duties, hours, and it is often a requirement for those selected to hold some type of job or be a student outside of the team.
  • Members are required to maintain and meet fitness/appearance requirements, all of which are discussed and agreed to…gym membership and stylist discounts are also given by sponsors. And while some of the ladies may take that as required weekly manicures or regular haircuts and color, those are optional expenses the ladies incur at their own discretion…again they AGREED to this.
  • Travel to appearances may sometimes be out of area, but if you sign up to drive 90 miles, I’m saying, don’t complain about it.
  • Fines are incurred when you are late for practice, games, events or if you forget required equipment, attire, etc… I have no issue with this, money is the best motivator to get people to stay on top of their game.

So my thing is, at auditions… candidates are WELL AWARE of what it takes to make the team and what the job entails, if selected among the HUNDREDS, sometimes THOUSANDS of hopefuls. I think the general public assumes it is a full time job and doesn’t realize the reality of what goes on behind the glamour – hours of practice, appearances and prep, but truth be told, after all the hard work, hours of sweat, all the tears shed, dedication and miles driven, what you take home doesn’t even cover gas costs! However, the majority (if not all) of the ladies in the pro ranks aren’t doing it “for the money.” What this job offers are priceless memories and friendships, unique experiences and once in a lifetime opportunities. As a pro team cheerleader I was able to network and meet countless top level executives from a wide range of industries, work alongside community leaders and influencers, travel and represent teams in the most elite sports leagues and given the platform to be part of game day entertainment in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans!

Honestly, this gets me worked up because I am protective of the “sisterhood.” I do see the point of being paid more and it would be well-deserved, but the reality is that being a Raiderette or part of any pro team is a privilege and honor, that is priceless!! IF this suit is successful, I think a few things could happen. It may be possible that teams do away with cheerleaders altogether or make it a volunteer job with NO stipend. However, since the cheerleaders are vital to branding and bring in millions of dollars for the team, maybe they shrink the squads down to only a dozen or less, to make them full-time staff.  But, let’s be honest, the hundreds of women that try out would do it for free, and these days the spots are so coveted that they enlist the coaching of people like me, through Going Pro Entertainment, to give them advice and pointers on how to make a team!

It will be interesting to see what happens. I worked full time outside of my position as a pro team cheerleader/dancer, with each team I was lucky enough to be a member of…and I would do it all over again for the same “low” pay.

Dubs All Day

I spent part of the 2nd day of 2014 at the HEAT vs. Warriors game at American Airlines Arena.

photo 1

It’s only once a year (NBA season) when my hometown, Bay Area, Golden State Warriors make it to South Florida, and after many years of struggles and heartache for fans, the team is finally competing (and beating) the competition! Plus, I have to make sure to show some “California Love” …so, it was exciting to see the team in action in Miami and to represent & support a team I grew up watching!

DUBS ALL DAY! I also got to sport a custom shirt design by Tony.psd in the Warriors Blue and Yellow – in fact there were lots of Golden State fans in the crowd Thursday night… so that was fun to see too!!

photo 2

And — post game my friend Maite and I were invited to check out “HYDE” – the ‘exclusive” court side club, which was nice because I hadn’t been down there yet when it was “club” time… and coincidentally I ran into my friend Jenn, who was visiting Miami from the Bay! Good times!

photo 4

 

LUV-A-BULL Proposal

I kept seeing this video pop up on my social media feeds, but I had yet to click the play button, until tonight! This was probably one of the best “clicks” I ever made…watching this Luvabull (NBA Chicago Bulls dancer), be proposed to on the court during a performance, has to be one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen. I was moved to tears!!!

And while it’s been a minute since my NBA/NFL dancing days, I can only imagine how insanely intense, confusing and surreal that moment must of been for her! Props to her man for getting it done and best of luck to the happy couple! Watch the video of the surprise marriage proposal below…

In The NFL Today…

I LOVE this image from the NFL today as Seattle Seahawk Doug Baldwin takes the field… I applaud him for bringing more awareness to the need for more support in Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda relief. The Philippine flag (even if it is upside down) never looked more brilliant, beautiful and proud! 🙂

My Boys!

This is what LOVE looks like! I’m carrying 50 pounds of pure LOVE…my 2 most prized possessions! And — oh yeah, we’re posing with the 3 Miami HEAT NBA Championship Trophies! Never too early to teach them that hard work and dedication will turn you into a WINNER!!! 🙂

Gear Up and Represent Bay Area Sports

Fall is here and the NFL football season is in full swing, MLB playoffs are upon us and another NBA season is just around the corner. So if you’re looking to get some gear that’s not your typical “sports” t-shirts and sayings, check out www.tonypsd.bigcartel.com

I’m working with Tony on some new graphics for my newest passion project – look out for that, but in the meantime I wanted to share some of his fun designs reppin’ the Bay! 🙂 I know Oakland A’s fans (old and new) need some fresh gear for the playoffs & SF Giants fans represent for the Sucka Free regardless.

And — some examples of the designs for the Raider Nation and 49er Faithful…

Let’s not forget the Golden State Warriors who are poised for another incredible season or the San Jose Sharks!!

Alright, alright…be sure to check it out!! www.tonypsd.bigcartel.com

 

 

NFL AM

I made my NFL Network debut yesterday on their morning show, “NFL AM,” with a countdown style segment on NFL’s Pop Culture Crossovers. It was a fun segment and I got plenty of great feedback, so hopefully I’ll be bringing more “pop culture” to the show very soon!

Check out my 5 for the week…. From Colin Kaepernick’s kicks to Kurt Warner’s life story.

At any rate, here’s my clip from the show…press play!

And — thanks to Touch Dolls boutique for helping me select my yellow dress for the segment!