The Washington Redskins have issued a statement in response to the New York Times investigatory report detailing the team’s cheerleaders going to Costa Rica on a trip and essentially being forced to act as escorts and dancers for guests of the team.
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 3, 2018
“We are immediately looking into this situation,” said Bruce Allen, the team’s president. “[We] 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.”
According to the investigation, the cheerleaders were forced to go on a trip to Costa Rica and were accompanied by a group of sponsors and FexEx Field suite holders. They were forced to pose topless for a calendar shoot while those guests watched. While the trip did not specifically involve sex, a cheerleader that was present said it felt as if the arrangement was the equivalent of ‘pimping [them] out.’
Also, Stephanie Jojokian, the longtime director for the team’s cheerleaders, denied many of the details in the report of the Costa Rica trip. She vehemently denied specific accounts of a trip to a nightclub in which the cheerleaders were selected to go by sponsors acting essentially as escorts.
A representative for the NFL, said the league office does not have any role in how clubs choose to use their cheerleaders. Their statement did not suggest any sort of potential punishment or even condemnation of the event.
The article cited five cheerleaders who spoke to them were all on the Costa Rica trip, and spoke to the Times under the condition of anonymity because they were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements when they joined the organization. They also talked to a number of others who were aware of the event.
This is not the first allegation of inappropriate and unfair treatment of cheerleaders by NFL teams recently. Two former cheerleaders, the Saints’ Bailey Davis and Dolphins’ Kristan Ware, both filed discrimination lawsuits against in April citing gender discrimination and sexual harassment among a litany of other complaints.