bdmetronews Desk ॥ With some NFL teams’ rules for cheerleaders and general treatment of that group under scrutiny, The New York Times published an eye-opening story that detailed claims of many inappropriate and uncomfortable moments for Washington Redskins cheerleaders during a 2013 trip to Costa Rica.
The story, written by Juliet Macur, said that during a trip for the cheerleader calendar photo shoot, the cheerleaders “were required to be topless” and an all-male group of sponsors and FedExField suite holders “were granted up-close access to the photo shoots.” Macur said she spoke to five cheerleaders who were on the trip as well as others who heard descriptions of the trip and corroborated the details.
One evening, Macur wrote, the squad’s director told nine of the 36 cheerleaders that some of the sponsors had “picked them to be personal escorts at a nightclub.” That nightclub trip did not involve sex, The Times said, but Macur wrote that several of the cheerleaders began to cry when told. Longtime director of the Redskins cheerleaders Stephanie Jojokian disputed details of the trip, saying the trip to the nightclub was not mandatory and the cheerleaders who went weren’t picked by sponsors. Two cheerleaders who were on that trip and were made available to The Times by the team told Macur that Jojokian didn’t force the cheerleaders to do anything they didn’t want to do.
The Redskins told The Times the cheerleaders were paid nothing for the weeklong trip other than transportation costs, meals and lodging. The trip was seen as mandatory for the cheerleaders, the story said.
After the Costa Rica trip some cheerleaders left the squad, saying they felt “worthless and unprotected,” The Times wrote.