Former Saintsation files complaint, accuses Saints of discrimination
A former Saintsation dance team member files suit against the team, alleging the Saints have unfair, discriminatory rules for cheerleaders and players. Bailey Davis filed a complaint Friday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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Bailey Davis spent three years dancing with the Saintsations at Saints games. But in January, her career with the team came to a screeching halt, when she was terminated.
Davis explains, “I posted a picture in a one piece body suit from some dance shots that I had made and they said it was distasteful.”
Davis acknowledges the team has a strict social media rule; no posts in revealing clothes or swimwear. The team also has a rule about contact with players.
“We cannot speak to the players, anything past good game or hello at an appearance or game and if we're in a restaurant and they come in, we have to leave the restaurant, if we're there first, we still have to leave,” Davis explained.
Davis says players are allowed to contact and message the Saintsations, but if they respond or engage players in any way, they're fired. In fact, the women are asked to go out of their way, she says, to avoid attention from any of the Saints.
Sara Blackwell, Davis’s attorney, says, “They can't wear their uniforms in their profile pictures, although the players can, their pages can't be private, they have to privatize their Instagram, the players are public.”
Blackwell continues, “These are written, blatantly gender discriminatory rules that should be changed.”
Blackwell and Davis filed suit on Friday, lodging a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The 22 year old says the lawsuit isn't about being re-hired or monetary damages.
She says, “I obviously want equal rules for the players and cheerleaders, I want to be treated like a professional athlete just like the professional football players are treated like professional football players.”
FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti says he thinks Davis' lawsuit will bring about some change.
“I think with the me too movement coming on, there's going to be a lot more sensitivity even if the NFL is not a defendant in this particular case and can extricate themselves from this, they still need to pay attention to this because their member teams are doing things that in 2018, don't pass the smell test,” Raspanti said.
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