NFL Must Address Sexual Harassment Claims from Cheerleaders

Statement from NOW President Toni Van Pelt

Once again, the NFL has allowed a culture of sexual harassment to continue and has done nothing to change the rules and regulations for cheerleaders.

Two brave women – former NFL cheerleaders – Bailey Davis and Kristan Ware have offered to settle their claims for $1 each if they can meet with Roger Goodell to discuss how to change rules and regulations for cheerleaders in the league. Roger Goodell should not even think twice when it comes to this offer. But, he also must do more than that – the rules must change.

As a matter of fact, when the latest story broke of topless photo shoots reported by Redskins cheerleaders, a NFL spokesperson responded that the NFL, “has no role in how the clubs which have cheerleaders utilize them.” He reiterated a statement the league has issued in response to previous news reports regarding the treatment of cheerleaders: “Our office will work with our clubs in sharing best practices and employment-related processes that will support club cheerleading squads within an appropriate and supportive workplace.”

Share best practices? That’s the best they can do? Try again Roger Goodell. The NFL must take action to prioritize a safe environment for ALL of their representatives – including the women who represent their teams and the NFL brand. They need the same rules, regulations and trainings for cheerleaders, team management and players. Enough with issuing blanket statements denying responsibility. It’s time for action. The NFL needs to recognize their obligation to make tangible changes, and most importantly they need to start listening. They can start with Davis and Ware.

Contact: Dee Donavanik,, 951-547-1241