Sexual harassment claims shadow the Washington Redskins organization

Rumored allegations of sexual harassment during a trip made by former team cheerleaders has put the Washington Redskins organization in a dark cloud of scrutiny by peers.

In a New York Times article published on last Wednesday, the team took their cheerleaders to Costa Rica for their annual calendar photo shoot where they stripped of their passports and some cheerleaders stated that they were required to pose in full nudity as the organization’s suite holders watched it happen. Later on, some of the cheerleaders were told to be escorts for the suite members while attending a nightclub.

Even though there wasn’t any sex involved, the cheerleaders till felt that the team was “pimping them out” Here’s a NYT piece quote “What bothered them was their team director’s demand that they go as sex symbols to please male sponsors, which they did not believe should be a part of their job.” One cheerleader said that they covered a naked member like a “human barricade”  to protect her from sponsors seeing her. The cheerleaders interviewed even said that they had a dress code and even they have to maintain their weight which led to laxative abuse being noticeable.

Some of the team’s officials were present during the nightclub trip including senior vice president of operations Lon Rosenberg and the president of business operations Dennis Greene.

The article also states a year before, there was a wild  team-bonding party where men was shooting turkey basters filled with liquor to cheerleaders months and men were paying females in cash handouts who participated in a twerking contest.

This a new cheerleading scandal blackening the NFL this year where two former cheerleaders filed complaints against the league for harassment and a hostile work environment. Earlier this month, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ann Ware filed a suit where she claimed to be harassed because of her religion and gender. Last month former Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis was fired posting a bikini photo on her private Instagram.

Even with the monstrous claims, two former Redskin cheerleaders have tweeted that the claims made in the article against the team are false. Cheerleaders Charo Bishop and Christa Taylor have shared their own thoughts about the claims.

Bishop even appeared this morning on NBC’s morning show Today with former captain Rachel Gill to share their own side on the troubling allegations

The organization’s president Bruce Allen released a statement on Thursday referring to the allegations. Allen stated that the team is immediately looking at the situation and they have full support of their cheerleaders.

“The Redskins organization is very concerned by the allegations involving our cheerleaders in the recent New York Times article,” said Allen in the press release. “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.”

For the Redskins, this isn’t the first time the franchise have faced such scrutiny. Throughout the decades, the team has had court battles over the trademarked name and logo and in their earlier years, the government almost forced former owner George Preston Mitchell to sign/draft a African-American on his roster or it would interfere.

With the current allegations, it will be interesting to see how the team relationship with their cheer squad will still be and will more women tell their story about their treatment within the organization. Or will the team tone up the cheerleader’s image to the fanbase?

Follow Olafimihan on Twitter @olafimihanoshin

More predictions at Doc’s Sports.