Former Redskins Cheerleaders Come Forward Hoping to End Harassment of Women

Two former Redskins cheerleaders went on record after speaking anonymously in May.
Publish date:

After five former Redskins cheerleaders revealed a culture of intimidation and harrassment in a New York Timesstory in May, two of those cheerleaders spoke again with the Times on Thursday

Rebecca Cummings and Allison Cassidy agreed to be named on Thursday in hopes of "denouncing attempts to discredit them and to speak on the record about their experiences and their frustrations at what they consider the slow pace of change to protect N.F.L. cheerleaders from degrading treatment," according to the Times.

Washington reportedly investigated the cheerleaders' claims following May's report. Team spokesman Maury Lane said that the investigation concluded "the core of the women’s story was true, but that it was 'greatly exaggerated.'" 

The Redskins made changes aimed to improve cheerleader safety and improve the team's image. The changes included releasing new uniforms and ending a program that sent suite owners to the cheerleader calendar shoot in Mexico. Cummings and Cassidy told the Times they aren't satisfied with the new policies, and that the changes failed to address a broader culture of harrassment. 

Cummings and Cassidy said they have "lost many friends" after speaking out against the Redskins' practices and policies. They believe coming forward will help improve the treatment of women across the NFL.

“I’m not O.K. with how I was treated, and I hope I can light a fire under teams to make real changes and inspire other women to speak up, too," Cummings told the Times. "This is more than just a story about Redskins cheerleading.”