AS the National Football League starts a new season, millions of Americans will settle in for the next five months to enjoy the thrill of pro football. Forty-five percent of those fans are female, and the league has spent millions of dollars in recent years trying to increase its appeal among women.
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And yet, one high-profile group of women in the multibillion-dollar N.F.L. is still waiting for fair treatment. Cheerleaders are often paid well below minimum wage and aren't given the most basic protections that every employee deserves.