Former Redskins Cheerleaders Hope To Help Change NFL Culture
Two former Redskins cheerleaders who previously spoke anonymously about sexual harassment while working for the team now are speaking on the record "about their experiences and their frustrations at what they consider the slow pace of change to protect NFL cheerleaders from degrading treatment," according to Juliet Macur of the N.Y. TIMES. Rebecca Cummings and Allison Cassidy said that they "agreed to be named now to bolster the credibility of their allegations." Cummings said, "Our main goal was for the Redskins to make a safe working environment for the cheerleaders." Macur noted the Redskins after the Times report in May "conducted a three-month investigation into their cheerleading program." The internal inquiry "determined that 'all aspects'" of the harassment allegations "were accurate, but that what the women described was 'greatly exaggerated.'" The investigation led the Redskins to "make changes this season intended to improve the safety of cheerleaders and to portray the team as more family-friendly." Those changes include "new uniforms, which show slightly less skin, for a group of cheerleaders who mingle with fans but do not perform on the sidelines." The cheerleaders also will "no longer be assigned to private events." Cummings and Cassidy said that those changes, "while welcome, fell short of their expectations of broader moves to eliminate the culture of harassment, such as the removal of the program’s leadership that intimidated cheerleaders into silence." Across the NFL, several teams have "made adjustments to their programs" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/30).