Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Saints cheerleader fired over Instagram photo files complaint claiming discrimination

Bailey Davis 22 left claims the New Orleans Saints holds cheerleaders and players to separate standards Saints cheerleader fired over Instagram photo files complaint claiming discrimination
Domingo Copeland | 28 March, 2018, 01:44

A former New Orleans Saints cheerleader believes she was sacked over what her attorney described as "antiquated" and "blatantly discriminatory" social media and fraternization policies that are different for female cheerleaders and male players. Saints cheerleaders are reportedly not allowed to appear nude, seminude or in lingerie in photos. She has now filed a complaint against the Saints franchise through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency that helps enforce civil rights laws.

The Saints say that the rules have been set in place to protect cheerleaders from players preying on them.

The New York Times report said the Saints anti-fraternization policy requires cheerleaders to avoid contact with players, in person or online, even though players are not penalized for pursuing such engagement with cheerleaders. They argue that players are not forbidden from trying to contact or fraternize with cheerleaders and that players' social media accounts are not restricted in the same way. As it turns out, the Saints are so particularly anxious about the matter that they put the impetus fully on the cheerleaders to avoid National Football League players in all social situations, be it on social media, at a restaurant, or at a party.

Davis claims she was sacked just days after she posted a photo on her private Instagram page that showed her dawning a one-piece outfit.

"It bothers me that they tell me the players know who you are because you're a pretty girl, you're on the field with them all the time, but then it's my fault because my Instagram was public", Davis told the Times.

Davis' attorney says the EEOC will investigate the allegations of gender discrimination and make a determination.

Another picture of Bailey Davis in a swimming costume.

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A lawyer for the Saints, Leslie Lanusse, denied that Davis was the victim of gender discrimination.

New Orleans is the latest team whose regulations for cheerleaders have been questioned, The New York Times reported.

"At the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum, the Saints will defend the organization's policies and workplace rules", she told the paper in a statement.

Shortly after sharing the Instagram photo that ultimately got her fired, Davis says she received a text from the cheer squad's senior director Ashley Deaton insulting the post and referencing the party.

Meanwhile, the ex-cheerleader said she hopes her filing will aid others in her position by forcing teams to change their rules so all employees, male and female, are treated equally.

Davis's case will not be used to reverse a wrongful firing claim, but instead use to reverse team policies which she feels have been unfairly harsh to cheerleaders.

"We want equality", Blackwell said, CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL-TV reports.

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