A former New Orleans Saints cheerleader reportedly filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming the organization holds cheerleaders and players to separate standards.
Bailey Davis, 22, told The New York Times on Sunday she was fired days after posting a picture to social media of herself in a one-piece swimsuit in January. She said team officials accused her of violating rules that bar cheerleaders from appearing nude, seminude or in lingerie and attending parties with Saints players. It’s unclear exactly which picture got Davis in trouble.
Four days after the photo was posted, Davis said she received a text message from Ashley Deaton, the director of the team’s cheerleading squad.
“Very poor judgment to post a picture like that especially considering our recent conversations about the rumors going around about u,” Deaton wrote, referencing a rumor that Davis attended a party with a player. “This does not help your case. I’d expect you to know better.”
Davis said she denied the allegations multiple times and reportedly said in her complaint the franchise’s rules reflected outdated views of women in the workplace.
Sara Blackwell, Davis’ lawyer, told The New York Times the Saints’ policy is a double standard.
“If the cheerleaders can’t contact the players, then the players shouldn’t be able to contact the cheerleaders,” Blackwell said. “The antiquated stereotype of women needing to hide for their own protection is not permitted in America and certainly not in the workplace.”
The Saints denied any discrimination took place.
“The Saints organization strives to treat all employees fairly, including Ms. Davis,” said Leslie A. Lanusse, the team’s lawyer. “At the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum, the Saints will defend the organization’s policies and workplace rules. For now, it is sufficient to say that Ms. Davis was not subjected to discrimination because of her gender.”
Cheerleaders have been getting screwed by the NFL for years. It’s really sad because a lot of fans actually spend a ton of time staring at them during the games. Players and cheerleaders, and anyone else in the organization, should be treated no different. Same set of rules and standards for all.