Meet former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ann Ware. She was a member of the Dolphins cheerleading squad for three years. During her time with the Dolphins organization, Ware alleges she experienced discrimination about her gender and religion. According to the filed complaint to the state labor board, Ware began experiencing hostility after it became known she was a virgin and saving herself for marriage.
Ware said the cheerleading staff was made aware of her being a virgin after a bus trip in London during the fall of 2015. On the bus, other cheerleaders were discussing their sex lives and pressured Ware into revealing her intentions of not having sex before marriage.
According to Ware, team director Dorie Grogan and team choreographer Brooke Nix pressured her to stop talking about her religion and virginity. She also alleges the Dolphins would exclude all mentions of her faith in blog posts she would write for the team website. Ware says that male members of the organization were never asked to stop speaking publicly about their religion. Also, during photo shoots allegedly she was berated often and felt mocked by the team director for her sexual choices.
Here is Ware describing her feelings during the ordeal.
“It was like a bus hit me,” Ware said. “I was completely speechless. All that formed on my face were tears.”
Ware is being represented by Florida attorney Sara Blackwell, who has defended other cheerleaders for similar complaints against the NFL.
This case adds to the growing list of discrimination complaints levied against the NFL and its teams. Former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis filed a complaint about gender discrimination she alleges is connected with her being fired. Davis also is represented by attorney Sara Blackwell. According to the New York Times, several former cheerleaders were anonymously quoted detailing widespread harassment of cheerleaders throughout the NFL.
This is a bad look for the NFL that needs to be corrected.