In the #MeToo era, now comes the most shocking sexual exploitation revelations from the world’s biggest professional league. A leading team of National Football League (NFL) has been accused of exploiting their cheerleaders.
This is the second report in a year that has tainted and disgraced the US Sports after US Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was accused of sexually abusing 256 girls and was sentenced to 175 years in prison.
Washington Redskins who stood third in the last season of the league have been accused by their cheerleaders. The team of cheerleaders have accused the organization of making several inappropriate demands of them, according to a very explosive news report from The New York Times.
The report centers on one specific 2013 trip to Costa Rica for a calendar photo shoot where cheerleaders were told to pose nude and were made to entertain sponsors of the team by the senior management of the club.
“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,” the report says.
“A contingent of sponsors and FedExField suite holders – all men – were granted up-close access to the photo shoots.” At one point the report mentions a cheerleader getting her friends to form a “human barricade” to prevent the men from seeing her while she was “basically naked.”
“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,” Macur wrote.
“‘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.'”
Several women opted not to return to the squad the next season because of the trip, according to Macur.
Though the team in an official statement has denied the accusations of the cheerleaders mentioned in the report.
The team said in a statement, “The Redskins’ cheerleader program is one of the NFL’s premier teams in participation, professionalism, and community service. Each Redskin cheerleader is contractually protected to ensure a safe and constructive environment. The work our cheerleaders do in our community, visiting our troops abroad, and supporting our team on the field is something the Redskins organization and our fans take great pride in.”
This is not the first report that has drawn attention to how NFL cheerleaders are frequently subjected to alleged sexual misconduct, Earlier also there have been reports of misconduct with the cheerleading girls during the league. It is important to mention that the cheerleaders’ exploitation issue has also raised its ugly head many times during the IPL where often accusations of racist and crude remarks being hurled at the girls are reported quite often.