Is Cheerleading a Sport

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Cheerleading is a physical activity based on choreographed routines that involve tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers and stunts to lead spectators or crowds to cheer on sports teams at games or to participate in competitions. Cheerleading began in 1898 at the University of Minnesota when a student named Johnny Campbell lead a football game crowd in cheering “Rah, Rah, Rah! Ski-U-Mah, Hoo-Rah! Hoo-Rah! Varsity! Varsity! Varsity! Minn-E-So-Tah!” It originally started as an all-male activity but since then has evolved into a competitive sport for both men and women. However, lots of people do not agree that cheerleading should technically be considered a sport. Columnist Rick Reilly wrote an article that was published in the May 2000 issue of Sports Illustrated called “Sis! Boom! Bah! Humbug!” where he exerts sarcasm throughout the entire article when he discusses his opinion on cheerleading. He argues that cheerleading is “dumb” (5) but declares “cheerleading was just about the only way a girl could be a part of sports” (9). Reilly’s purpose is to persuade readers that cheerleading is in fact not a sport but his sarcastic approach to his argument is not very effective.

Reilly launches his claim by emphasizing how dangerous cheerleading can be. The very first paragraph states how there are “Broken bones. Senseless violence.” (1). He cites a report by The Physician and Sports Medicine that says cheerleaders lose about 28.8 days from their activity per injury. This is rumored to be the most time lost from an injury “than any other group of athletes at the high school level” (2). Reilly also delivers information from statistics at the University of North Carolina which declares that cheerleading is accountable for approximately half of high school and college injuries that cause paralysis or can even cause death. He uses these statistics as an attempt to show credibility and make the reader believe that he is knowledgeable on the logic of the dangers of cheerleading....
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