Redskins say they'll penalize employees who mistreated cheerleaders after NYT expose
WASHINGTON (Circa) -- The Washington Redskins have released a statement saying they will investigate claims made by cheerleaders about a 2013 Costa Rica trip. The team says if they find any employees acted inappropriately towards cheerleaders, they will "face significant repercussions."
Redskins team president Bruce Allen says they've heard different first hand accounts from a variety of cheerleaders about what occurred. Allen says some of the accounts differ from what the New York Times story that was released on Wednesday.
According to the report, it was mandatory for the cheerleaders to participate in a photo shoot topless while sponsors and suite holders of the team watched. Some of the cheerleaders were even forced to be personal escorts for some of the sponsors during a nightclub outing.
“They weren’t putting a gun to our heads, but it was mandatory for us to go,” one of the cheerleaders told the Times. “We weren’t asked, we were told. Other girls were devastated because we knew exactly what she was doing.”
In a statement to the New York Times on Wednesday, the team stated that every cheerleader was "contractually protected to ensure a safe and constructive environment." The team also quietly removed a section of their website which asked fans which cheerleaders on their team "were hotter."
Here is the full Redskins statement released on Thursday:
"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. 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. “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. We will continue to take all necessary measures to create a safe and respectful work environment."