NFL Cheerleaders join the #Metoo movement

Two former Washington Redskins cheerleaders go public with a call to change the working conditions of their calling.

September 30, 2018 19:46
1 minute read.
NFL Cheerleaders join the #Metoo movement

Sep 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans cheerleader performs during a timeout from the game against the New York Giants at NRG Stadium.. (photo credit: MATTHEW EMMONS-USA TODAY SPORTS VIA REUTERS)

Rebecca Cummings and Allison Cassidy, two former Washington Redskins cheerleaders, agreed to reveal their names to the New York Times on Thursday to ensure their call to change the environment of sexual harassment and intimidation on the job.

The two were members of a larger group, formed with three other former cheerleaders who wished to remain anonymous.

Following a May publication, the Washington Redskins conducted a three-month investigation into their cheerleading program. Their findings indicated that while the publication was accurate, nevertheless the women exaggerated their claims.

The report stated that during a 2013 calendar shoot in Costa Rica, wealthy supporters of the team were invited to ogle at the females being photographed. In addition, the cheerleaders were encouraged to entertain the men in a nightclub.

This yearm supporters were not invited to join a similar shooting in Mexico. In addition, two female police officers went with the team to enhance security.

A long standing feature of American football, cheerleading is attempting to find its new place in a culture reshaped by the #metoo movement as well as a sport that is suffering from a decline following ongoing medical research about how football is linked to series head injuries.

The changes include new cheerleading uniforms that are less revealing as well as adding males to the teams.

While far from being a traditional choice for American-Jewish women, there had been Jewish cheerleaders as well. They include Rachel and Michelle Lewis for the Texans and Sandy Gelfound for the Raiders.

Gelfound, who later became observant, used her experience to write and act in a one-woman show called "The Kosher Cheerleader."

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