Cheerleaders performing at a Washington NFL game. Photo: mdl70

Washington NFL team treated cheerleaders like 'calling for an escort'

The Washington NFL team treated its cheerleaders like an escort service for paying fans, The New York Times reports.

One former cheerleader said she was paid just $100 for taking part in a promotional event at a fan's home. The team on the other hand charged $1,200 per cheerleader.

"Someone just had to call the team and the managers would ask, 'How many girls do you want for how many hours?' and 'Do you want the girls to dance, or not?'" a former cheerleader told The Times.

“It’s literally like you’re calling for an escort,” she said.

The former cheerleader said she and five colleagues were sent to a private home where several men had been drinking. They were asked about their personal lives, she told the paper.

“It was sketchy because we were in some dude’s house, some random house, and it was physically uncomfortable to be there,” she said.

In a statement to the paper, the team did not outright deny sending cheerleaders to those kind of events.

“The safety and security of all of our employees, including our cheerleaders, is now and has always been a top priority for our organization," the statement read.

The team's cheerleaders were once known as the "Redskinettes." They dressed in stereotypical "Indian" clothing and put feathers in their hair.

Native activists were successful in having "Redskinettes" and other team-related trademarks canceled by the federal government. But they dropped their fight after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the federal law they were citing in their case.

Even before the ruling, the owner of the team boasted that he would "NEVER" change the name even though every major Indian organization and dozens of tribes have called it offensive, disparaging and racist.

Read More on the Story:
Pro Cheerleaders Say Groping and Sexual Harassment Are Part of the Job (The New York Times April 10, 2018)

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