Ex-NFL cheerleaders offer to settle bias lawsuit for $1


Bailey Davis in uniform

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Bailey Davis Instagram / Bryce Ell

Image caption

Cheerleader Bailey Davis says she was fired by the NFL for posting an Instagram photo in a lingerie body suit

Two former National Football League (NFL) cheerleaders have offered to settle their gender discrimination lawsuit against the league for just $1.

Their lawyer instead proposed a four-hour “good faith” meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to create new rules for cheerleading squads.

Ex-cheerleaders Bailey Davis and Kristan Ware said they want to address concerns about wages and harrassment.

But the $1 offer comes with a mandate that teams could not fire cheerleaders.

Sara Blackwell, the lawyer representing Ms Davis and Ms Ware, said the deal would stipulate that teams that have cheerleading squads would have to keep them for at least five years in an effort to protect the women raising discrimination issues.

“This was never about money for me,” Ms Davis told ABC News. “This is about having respect for our sport and standing up for our sport and standing up for women.”

Ms Blackwell drafted the proposal, which asks for the NFL to meet at least four cheerleaders to “prepare a set of binding rules and regulations which apply to all NFL teams”.

The total proposal is only one page and calls on the NFL to respond by 4 May.

“We’re not asking them to admit fault, or to admit guilt, or even admit that there is anything wrong,” Ms Blackwell told the New York Times, adding that it is just “common sense” that they have a conversation about cheerleader working environments.

What is the lawsuit about?

Ms Davis claims she was methotrexate sarcoidosis treatment fired on 23 Jan for posting an Instagram photo of herself in a one-piece bodysuit, which goes against a rule that prohibits cheerleaders from posting revealing images online – a rule that she says does not apply to men.

  • NFL cheerleader ‘fired for Instagram post’

The Saints organisation has denied that she was discriminated against because she is female.

Ms Ware claims she was discriminated against because of her religion and gender. She says only male players were allowed to discuss their religion online and in interviews.

  • Cheerleader ‘bullied for being a virgin’

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Instagram/ kristan.ann

In response to a recent wave of complaints from cheerleaders alleging sexual harassment, unfair wages and gender discrimination, the NFL recently said in a statement that it wanted to support its squads.

“Everyone who works in the NFL, including cheerleaders, has the right to work in a positive and respectful environment that is free from any and all forms of harassment and discrimination and fully complies with state and federal laws.

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.”