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Washington Football Team ends cheerleading, creates co-ed dance team

Nov 8, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Members of the Washington Football Team cheerleaders dance in the stands against the New York Giants at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in more than five decades, the Washington Football Team plans to take the field without a cheerleading squad.

The change is part of the overhaul of the team’s culture, which included removing Redskins from the team’s name, a new logo, team and football operations power structure, and a potential change in the ownership group.

The Washington Football Team made the decision, in part, because the contracts of their current cheerleaders have expired.

Petra Pope, the club’s new senior adviser, told USA Today the dance team will be modern and diverse.

“We want to be more inclusive, so we are going to invite a coed entity (to audition),” Pope said. “We’re able to do more things with the strength of a male, and lifts, so that’s changed a great deal. The inclusivity, strength and interest of choreography has changed.”

Read More: Jeff Bezos reportedly interested in buying the Washington Football Team

The club came under fire after an expose by the Washington Post detailing members of the 2008 and 2010 cheerleading squads alleging club employees made videos without permission of squad calendar shoots with women in various stages of undress for scene changes required by the photographers.

The Washington Football Team has denied those claims.

–Field Level Media

NFL cheerleaders

Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders

Oct 22, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders perform in the fourth quarter in a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Dec 23, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cheerleader performs during a timeout from the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders

Sep 25, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers cheerleaders during the second quarter between the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Football Team Cheerleaders

Dec 15, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; A Washington Football Team cheerleader dances on the field during a timeout against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars Cheerleaders

Dec 27, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; The Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders, The Roar perform before a game against the Chicago Bears at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders

Aug 8, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins cheerleaders perform during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports.

Jacksonville Jaguars Cheerleaders

Oct 15, 2017; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders perform during a football game against the Los Angeles Rams at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Jan 5, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders perform during the fourth quarter of a NFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders

Oct 15, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders perform during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas Raiders Cheerleaders

Sep 10, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cheerleaders perform during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Cheerleaders

Aug 16, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots cheerleaders perform during the first quarter of a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders

Oct 28, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; The Kansas City Chiefs cheerleaders perform during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers Cheerleaders

Aug 20, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers cheerleaders perform during a NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders

Oct 5, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform during the second half of a football game against the New England Patriots at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Dec 18, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders perform a holiday show at halftime for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium. Dallas beat Tampa 26-20. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders

Aug 24, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers Topcats Cheerleaders perform during the second quarter between the Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Dec 9, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cheerleader performs on the sidelines during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Football Team Cheerleaders

Aug 16, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Football Team cheerleaders dance on the field during a timeout against the New York Jets in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. Washington won 15-13. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans Cheerleaders

Jan 4, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans cheerleader perform in the AFC Wild Card NFL Playoff game between the Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sportsnn

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders

Oct 21, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins cheerleader performs against the Detroit Lions during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders

Nov 19, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A Minnesota Vikings cheerleader performs during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at U.S. Bank Stadium. Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Cheerleaders

Oct. 9, 2011 – Foxboro, Massachusetts, U.S – New England Patriots cheerleaders perform. The New England Patriots defeat the New York Jets 30 – 21 during the AFC East matchup at Gillette Stadium. (Credit Image: u00a9 Geoff Bolte/Southcreek/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Los Angeles Chargers Cheerleaders

Aug 25, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers girls cheerleaders perform during a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders

Oct 22, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders perform in the fourth quarter in a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports