The Washington Redskins and the entire NFL were rocked by a report from The New York Times telling us a story of mistreatment of the team’s cheerleaders a few years back.
The details of this story are hard to fathom, clearly displaying a machismo and sexist culture within the Redskins’ organization.
“When the Washington Redskins took their cheerleading squad to Costa Rica in 2013 for a calendar photo shoot, the first cause for concern among the cheerleaders came when Redskins officials collected their passports upon arrival at the resort, depriving them of their official identification,” the detailed report read.
“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.”
Needless to say, this has thrown the entire NFL for a loop. And for the first time, the Redskins themselves have released a public statement regarding the incidents in question.
“The Redskins organization is very concerned by the allegations involving our cheerleaders in the recent New York Times article. We are immediately looking into this situation and want to express how serious we take these allegations,” president Bruce Allen said, via the team’s official website. “Based on the dialogue we’ve had with a number of current and former cheerleaders over the past 48 hours, we’ve heard very different first-hand accounts that directly contradict many of the details of the May 2 article. I can promise that once we have completed looking into this matter, if it is revealed that any of our employees acted inappropriately, those employees will face significant repercussions.”
Here, the Redskins are making it clear that they believe certain details of the report to be factually incorrect. As today’s verbiage would conclude, “fake news.”
“Our entire organization has great appreciation and respect for our cheerleaders. From the work they do in the local community, to visiting our troops abroad, and for always representing the Redskins organization in a first-class manner, these women are exemplary members of our organization and are worthy of our utmost respect. We are proud of these women and support them during this time,” Allen continued. “We will continue to take all necessary measures to create a safe and respectful work environment.”
Well, that’s clearly not going to cut it for those who took The Times report seriously. Obviously, there’s going to be a whole heck of a lot more come of this.
What we do know is that the Redskins are indicating that the report is untrue. Whether a yet-to-be announced investigation into the matter shows the same thing remains to be seen.