Here’s the latest in a series of scathing reports on treatment of NFL cheerleaders, and it keeps getting worse. This time it’s the Washington Redskins cheerleaders, and how they were forced to go topless during a calendar shoot in Costa Rica back in 2013.
The Redskins’ week-long trip to Costa Rica in 2013, for which the cheerleaders were paid nothing beyond transportation costs, meals and lodging, the team said, provides a vivid illustration of how N.F.L. teams have used cheerleaders for far more than sideline dancers during games.
Via the NY TIMES:
For the photo shoot, at the adults-only Occidental Grand Papagayo resort on Culebra Bay, some of the cheerleaders said they were required to be topless, though the photographs used for the calendar would not show nudity. Others wore nothing but body paint. Given the resort’s secluded setting, such revealing poses would not have been a concern for the women — except that the Redskins had invited spectators.
One evening, at the end of a 14-hour day that included posing and dance practices, the squad’s director told nine of the 36 cheerleaders that their work was not done. They had a special assignment for the night. Some of the male sponsors had picked them to be personal escorts at a nightclub.
“So get back to your room and get ready,” the director told them. Several of them began to cry.
“They weren’t putting a gun to our heads, but it was mandatory for us to go,” one of the cheerleaders said. “We weren’t asked, we were told. Other girls were devastated because we knew exactly what she was doing.”
If the NFL thought the concussion thing was bad, they have a serious cheerleader issue on their hands. The stories that are coming out somehow keep getting worse. Might be time to actually pay these ladies. It seems like the worst gig in the world.