A former New Orleans Saints cheerleader who was fired for posting a photo to her personal Instagram account which the organization deemed inappropriate is fighting back in court.
Bailey Davis, 22, was let go in January after Saints officials concluded she violated the team’s rules of conduct when she posted a photo of herself in a slinky one piece bathing suit, The New York Times reports. Those rules forbid cheerleaders from appearing nude, semi-nude or in lingerie, and attending parties with Saints players.
Davis, 22, said four days after she posted the picture, she was reprimanded via email by Ashley Deaton, the director of the team’s cheerleading squad.
“Very poor judgment to post a picture like that especially considering our recent conversations about the rumors going around about u,” Deaton wrote, alluding to a rumor that Davis attended a party with a player. “This does not help your case. I’d expect you to know better.”
Davis said she denied the accusations multiple times but was fired anyway. So, she decided to file a lawsuit against the Saints, alleging that the organization’s rules about fraternizing with players violates the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Her attorney, Sara Blackwell, says the team’s policy constitutes a double standard.
“If the cheerleaders can’t contact the players, then the players shouldn’t be able to contact the cheerleaders,” Blackwell said. “The antiquated stereotype of women needing to hide for their own protection is not permitted in America and certainly not in the workplace.”
For their part, Saints officials have denied that Davis was discriminated against because of her gender and have vowed to “defend the organization’s policies and workplace rules.”