Five former Washington Redskins cheerleaders allege that during a trip to Costa Rica in 2013, team officials “pimped them out” as personal escorts to male sponsors.
Speaking anonymously to the New York Times due to confidentiality agreements with the team, the cheerleaders said the incident began when the men were invited to watch a photo shoot involving some of them at the adults-only Occidental Grand Papagayo resort on Culebra Bay. According to the report, some of the women were required to be topless for the shoot, while others wore only body paint.
“At one of my friend’s shoots, we were basically standing around her like a human barricade because she was basically naked, so we could keep the guys from seeing her,” one of the cheerleaders said. “I was getting so angry that the guys on the trip were skeezing around in the background.”
On a subsequent evening, the women allege, their director told nine of the 36 cheerleaders present that they were to serve as personal escorts for some of the male sponsors, who were going to a nightclub. The cheerleaders said that the night didn’t involve sex, but they felt that the team was “pimping us out.” Several of the cheerleaders said that, as a result, they decided not to return to the cheerleading team the following season.
“They weren’t putting a gun to our heads, but it was mandatory for us to go,” one of the cheerleaders told the newspaper. “We weren’t asked, we were told. Other girls were devastated because we knew exactly what she was doing.”
Redskins officials and the team’s cheerleader director, Stephanie Jojokian, both denied the allegations.