The Houston Texans have come beneath fire from 5 former cheerleaders who accused the NFL franchise of “a systemic pattern of disparity” that integrated a hostile operate atmosphere in which they have been underpaid, harassed and physique-shamed.
The 5 — Ashley Rodriguez, Morgan Wiederhold, Kelly Neuner, Hannah Turnbow and Ainsley Parish — filed a lawsuit in Houston federal court on Friday. The ex-cheerleaders claim they have been paid significantly less than the $7.25 per hour that they have been promised, and that they have been not compensated at all for public appearances or other tasks connected to their job.
“I and my fellow cheerleaders have been treated as the lowest of the low,” Turnbow mentioned at a news conference on Friday. “The Houston Texans have been paid thousands of dollars to have us show up at appearances at areas all more than Texas with no safety, no transportation, and exactly where our security was not assured.”
“We have been harassed, bullied and physique shamed for $7.25 an hour,” Parish added.
The females mentioned that they have been topic to “intense scrutiny” and “cyberbullying” by the coach and employees. This, they claim, integrated becoming measured often and “inspected” soon after workouts, exactly where they have been closely criticized by the program’s manager, Coach Altovise Gary, more than cellulite and “jiggle.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the females have been threatened with termination for voicing any complaints. The suit mentioned: “Nowadays, these females say ‘enough’ is ‘enough’. Nowadays, these females come prior to this court to hold the Houston Texans and the NFL at big accountable.”
Amy Palcic, a spokeswoman for the Texans, mentioned that the group is consistently evaluating its system and producing the modifications that need to have to be produced to make the cheerleading system “enjoyable for every person.”
“We are proud of the cheerleader system and have had hundreds of females participate and get pleasure from their encounter whilst producing a constructive effect in the nearby neighborhood,” Palcic mentioned in a short statement.
This is the second such lawsuit filed against the Texans.
Final month, 3 ex-cheerleaders also filed suit in Houston federal court, accusing the Texans of not paying them minimum wage or overtime, and accusing a cheerleading supervisor of physique-shaming.
These lawsuits are component of a series of current complaints that have been produced by cheerleaders against NFL teams across the nation.
The females in this most current case are looking for unspecified damages.
The Linked Press contributed to this report.