In 2013, the Washington Redskins took their cheerleading squad to Costa Rica for a work-related trip. They were doing a calendar shoot and there was something strange going on here. When they first got there the Redskins officials took the women’s passports so while they were in the country they had no official identification. The cheerleaders did what they said and gave them up and didn’t think much of it but the strange tasks didn’t stop there.
During the shoot, some of the women were required to do the shoot topless while others did the shoot in nothing but body paint. Now the pictures for the calendar would not be nude so the task was looked as, as pointless and meaningless. Now, this wouldn’t be too big of a concern but since the pictures wouldn’t be used in the calendar and the fact that Redskins officials invited spectators to watch this photo shoot. So, not only do the women have to go nude against their will but there are spectators there to watch as all of this unfold. The spectators were suite-holders for the stadium and all were male and not only could they watch, they were given “up-close access.”
The strange occurrences didn’t stop there, though. At the end of a fourteen hour day when all of the women are tired and just want to relax but the director told nine of the thirty-six women that their job wasn’t over. They were told they had “special assignments.” That special assignment was to be the escort for the male sponsors, who personally picked those women out. When the director told some of those women they began to cry. It was a mandatory thing to go to if they got picked out. Their participation did not involve sex, but they felt as if they were being “pimped out,” and that this was not in their job description. The women felt like they were being used as sex symbols to try and please the male sponsors.
But sketchiness doesn’t stop there, though. These women were not even paid outside of the travel, meals, and the cost of living there. These women feel like they aren’t being respected enough and that the NFL won’t pay attention to these issues until something terrible happens. These cheerleaders understand that sex sells, but they don’t want to be involved with these tactics at all.
After this story has unraveled many are left wondering, why was this kept a secret for so long?
Photo: USA Today