Just coming in from The Sporting News is a story that some cheerleaders for the National Football League’s Washington Redskins felt like they were being “pimped out” and harassed while in Costa Rica for a photo shoot. I don’t know why on Earth this is being talked about in 2018, but the event supposedly happened in 2013.
First published by the New York Times, the women were talking about a trip that “crossed a line.
Here is a quote from the published article:
“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.”
Further, a handful of the women were given a “special assignment” in which a male (who apparently were sponsors for this event) selected them to be personal escorts to a night club. While the women were not asked to perform sexual favors, they felt like they were being pimped out, according to reports.
Out of the 36 cheerleaders hand picked for this assignment, nine of them were selected. Many of them cried upon finding out they were selected.
“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.”
Clearly, there are further details to come out of this story, unless this is simply just a group of women on the hunt for some money. I’m reserving judgement for now.
Update: I read that there were incidents requiring the women to be topless during a photo shoot. The team calendar obviously does not feature topless women. Okay, this part is inappropriate. Who wouldn’t question this? Apparently VIP suite holders were in attendance and allowed to check out the assets up close and personal.
There are zero reports of assault, rape, or foul play. My take is that they went down there to model, and I know enough promo models who say that a lot of it is just about appearances. As long as nothing was demanded sexually, I think this story is being blown out of proportion. However, let’s see what sort of details surface as things unfold.
The director of the squad, Stephanie Jojokian, basically confirms my opinion because she told the Times that the night out was not mandatory and the cheer squad members were not chosen by sponsors. Two of the cheerleaders did say that Jojokian did not use any force or make them do things they didn’t want to do.