NFL Cheerleaders Offer To Settle Discrimination Claims If Goodell Will Meet With Them

​"It's an issue of power. You see a disparate treatment between the cheerleaders and the mascots and anyone else who works for the team.”

Photo by Cpl. Michelle M. Dickson/Wikimedia Commons.

Two ongoing discrimination claims filed by former NFL cheerleaders could come to a swift conclusion if commissioner Roger Goodell chooses to accept a tempting offer: They would drop the lawsuits in exchange for a sit down meeting with Goodell, $1 in damages, and not much else.


As reported by The New York Times, the goal of the proposed meeting would be to establish “a set of binding rules and regulations which apply to all NFL teams” when it comes to cheerleading squads. The settlement proposal also would bar teams from disbanding their squads for a period of five years, lest any team balk at the aforementioned league-wide regulations.

“We’re not asking them to admit fault, or to admit guilt, or even admit that there is anything wrong,” Sara Blackwell, the attorney representing both cheerleaders told The New York Times. “But if they do want and expect that cheerleaders should have a fair working environment, as they have stated, then it doesn’t make any common sense why the answer would be no.”

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Bailey Davis and Kristan Ann Ware, who were previously employed by the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins respectively. Davis was kicked off the New Orleans Saints cheerleading squad, the Saintsations, after she posted a photo to her private Instagram account wearing a bathing suit. Via a strict interpretation of the Saints’ rulebook, the team determined that Davis was promoting an in image in which she appeared “nude, seminude or in lingerie,” and fired her in January.

Here’s the photo in question, which, yes, isn’t that dissimilar from her workday uniform.

But as The New York Times noted, that’s just one aspect of the draconian rules the Saints enforce when it comes to the Saintsations. They’ve installed a “Handmaid’s Tale”-like “anti-fraternization” policy that puts the onus on cheerleaders to stay away from the players at all costs while the players themselves are given free rein to initiate social contact without fear of punishment or the loss of employment.

If a Saint or any NFL athlete accidentally saunters into a restaurant where a cheerleader happens to be dining, the cheerleader must leave immediately. They are also prohibited from any contact on social media and must immediately block any NFL player who reaches out to them. No such restrictions are placed on the players themselves.

For Wade’s part, she alleges she was let go for discussing her baptism on social media and her overt expressions of her faith rankled the Dolphins. Again, the Dolphins have never placed any restriction on their players’ expressions of overt religiousness. She was also grilled about her sexual behavior, or in this case, the lack thereof.

“My coaches sat down and said, ‘Let’s talk about your virginity,’” Ware, who quit the squad a year ago, said. “And I thought, ‘That isn’t right.’”

As Jessica Luther wrote at NBC News, for years, the few available job opportunities in professional cheerleading combined with the fact that cheerleaders, unlike the players, don’t have a union working on their behalf meant teams could enforce all manner of proscriptive and at times near-puritanical demands. Their weight, appearance, and behavior, both online and off, was under constant scrutiny, even when a cheerleader wasn’t on the job. (For example, the Buffalo Bills had rules in place regarding genital grooming.)

And even if a cheerleader was willing to look past all that, they were paid well below minimum wage and forced to make all manner of appearances, often unpaid, at team-related functions and events where sexual harassment was commonplace.

“The club's intention is to completely control the behavior of the women, even when they are not actually at their workplace,” said Leslie Levy, an attorney who represented cheerleaders in separate lawsuits filed by cheerleaders over unfair wages.

“It's an issue of power. You see a disparate treatment between the cheerleaders, and the mascots and anyone else who works for the team. I can't think of another arena where employers exert this level of control, even when they are not at work.”

Blackwell knows that she is risking a great deal by pinning everything on a single meeting with the NFL commissioner.

“I understand that they could meet with us, patronize us, and do nothing in the end,” she said. “I understand that risk. But it’s a risk we’re willing to take to try to have real change.”

Sports
via Smithfly.com

"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

RELATED: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

Lifestyle
via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


via zoezimmm / imgur


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via zoezimmm / imgur

The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.

Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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Communities
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Viral


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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