Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Former Dolphins Cheerleader Files Complaint, Cites "Hostile Workplace"

Former Dolphins Cheerleader Files Complaint, Cites Former Dolphins Cheerleader Files Complaint, Cites "Hostile Workplace"
Shannon Reynolds | 14 April, 2018, 00:36

A former Miami Dolphins cheerleader has filed a lawsuit against the team and the National Football League after, she said, she faced discrimination and retaliation because of her religion and gender.

Ware told the Washington Post she was inspired to speak out after former Saints cheerleader, Bailey David, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last month and claimed she was sacked over "antiquated" and "blatantly discriminatory" social media policies that were different for female cheerleaders and male football players. She says the workplace became "hostile" after that and during a 2016 work review, cheerleading director Dorie Grogan told her: "Let's talk about your virginity".

Some might say that being made fun of or mocked because of your virginity doesn't exactly constitute discrimination, but the Washington Post has more details from the complaint that definitely help her case.

The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders during a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons on August 25, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.

Ware claims her choreographer told her she needed to stop talking about it, so after three years with the squad, she resigned and is now suing the Dolphins for what she described as "blatant religious discrimination".

"I said, "Well, you know this is my personal conviction that I have from God and I have a "true love waits" ring and I have a vow to wait for marriage", she recalled.

Ware even alleges that most of her religious references were removed from a blog post she wrote for the team.

During a rehearsal for a bikini fashion show in 2016, Ware claims she was dressed with angel wings as poke at her virginity.

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Ware soon realized her interview would not go as she expected. "Right now is the ideal time to tell my story", Kristan Ware said in a Washington Post report.

"There is a sense of manipulation, where any time you raised a concern, it was like, 'All we need is a pretty girl to wear the uniform".

"If someone got too handsy, we could just turn around and leave, but we still had to be gracious and say, 'Thank you very much, '" Thibodeaux said in an article. "The intimidation needs to end".

In a statement, the Dolphins said: "We are seriously committed to providing a positive work environment for everyone associated with the organization".

"The N.F.L. and all N.F.L. member clubs support fair employment practices", he said. The NFL says everyone including cheerleaders, has the right to work in a positive and respectful environment free from harassment.

Both Davis and Ware are represented by Sara Blackwell, a lawyer based in Florida. Last month, former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis filed one with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, citing a double standard in rules imposed for female and male employees, after she was sacked for violating a social media policy specific to cheerleaders. The Dolphins have denied Ware's allegations, saying they hold every member of the organization to the same standards.

"I got told things like, 'You can't mention God, '" Ware said.

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