Redskins are under immense pressure from media allegations of inappropriate behavior during a 2013 cheerleading trip of the team to Costa Rica. The President of Redskins, Bruce Allen, has committed to taking ‘significant measures,’ in case of allegations being true.
Allen promised to punish anyone who allegedly misbehaved or acted inappropriately during the trip. The promise was elicited on the back of a New York Times report which called Redskins trip for its ‘pimping’ escapades. The story made specific references to photo shoot incidents where the cheerleaders felt that the organization was ‘pimping’ out cheerleaders.
Adults only resort
According to the New York Times story, The trip story was organized as an adult’s only resort. The cheerleaders were aware of this, and had in principle agreed to shoot for a topless calendar for Redskins. But they were not informed that this shooting would not be a private affair.
Unfortunately for the cheerleaders, they were vulnerable, as several male viewers attended the photo shoot. They included – male sponsors, as well as suite holders of FedExField who witnessed the shooting up close.
The breaking news set President Allen into swift damage control. In a statement to the press, Allen stated that “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.”
Mysteriously, Allen disregarded contrary stories by other cheerleaders on the trip.
Apparently, Times group had spoken to only five cheerleaders for the story they covered. Allen did point out that his team had spoken to other cheerleaders whose story differed from that of the cheerleaders interviewed by Times.
He added that “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.”
Taking strong exception to the run of events, he promised that he was considering all aspects of this matter and would ensure just punishment with “significant repercussions.”
The bigger issue: Demand for ‘Escort’ services
Apparently, for the interviewed cheerleaders, the issue was with respect to the expectation that they perform as escorts to the men for a night in town.
This attitude and request for such services are what triggered the perception of ‘pimping’ them out, one of the cheerleaders explained. However, she reiterated that there was no other physicality involved.
The incident has driven Allen and his team to step-up disciplinary action and to tweak some of the policies in place at Redskins. In his statement, he has added, that they will “take all necessary measures to create a safe and respectful work environment.”
He explained that their organization had high respect for the level of commitment and hard work of the cheerleading team. He extensively appreciated their local community work, their ‘troop visits’ abroad as well as the appropriate manner in which they represented Redskins. He congratulated them for their exemplary participation in the organizational events and expressed great pride in their work.