Former Redskins cheerleaders reveal in a shocking interview that they were allegedly required to go topless for a shoot and ‘picked’ to be ‘personal escorts’ by male sponsors on a night out during the 2013 team trip to Costa Rica.
Some Washington Redskins cheerleaders claim they were required to be topless for the 2013 photo shoot that took place at the adults-only Occidental Grand Papagayo resort on Culebra Bay in Costa Rica, The New York Times reports. However, the alleged topless photographs that were taken were not used for the team calendar. In addition to some of the cheerleaders allegedly being forced to go topless, others only wore body paint for the photo shoot. A group of just men, who were Redskins sponsors and FedExField suite holders, were reportedly given access to the revealing photo shoots.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this jaw-dropping story. After a 14-hour day, the squad’s director allegedly told 9 of the 36 cheerleaders that they had a “special assignment” of the night. Some of the male sponsors who had been given access to the photo shoots had allegedly picked the cheerleaders to be “personal escorts at a nightclub,” The New York Times reports. The director allegedly told them to go get ready, and many of them began to cry. “They weren’t putting a gun to our heads, but it was mandatory for us to go,” one of the cheerleaders told the outlet. “We weren’t asked, we were told. Other girls were devastated because we knew exactly what she was doing.” The alleged night out did not involve sex, but the cheerleaders felt the team was “pimping us out.”
“It’s just not right to send cheerleaders out with strange men when some of the girls clearly don’t want to go,” one cheerleader who was there told NYT. “But unfortunately, I feel like it won’t change until something terrible happens, like a girl is assaulted in some way, or raped. I think teams will start paying attention to this only when it’s too late.”
The Redskins released the following statement to The New York Times in response to the allegations: “The Redskins’ cheerleader program is one of the NFL’s premier teams in participation, professionalism, and community service. Each Redskin cheerleader is contractually protected to ensure a safe and constructive environment. The work our cheerleaders do in our community, visiting our troops abroad, and supporting our team on the field is something the Redskins organization and our fans take great pride in.”
Stephanie Jojokian, the longtime director and choreographer for the Redskins’ cheerleaders, has adamantly denied that the night out at the club was mandatory. “I was not forcing anyone to go at all,” Stephanie told The New York Times. “I’m the mama bear, and I really look out for everybody, not just the cheerleaders. It’s a big family. We respect each other and our craft. It’s such a supportive environment for these ladies.”
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