STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

NFL cheerleader files complaint over 'discriminatory' measures governing conduct

A former NFL cheerleader who was fired in part for an Instagram post that was deemed inappropriate is alleging gender...

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 11:41 AM
Updated: Mar 27, 2018 11:41 AM

A former NFL cheerleader who was fired in part for an Instagram post that was deemed inappropriate is alleging gender discrimination by the New Orleans Saints and the NFL.

Jacalyn Bailey Davis filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that says the Saints and the NFL hold female cheerleaders and male players to different standards of personal conduct.

The complaint says that Saints cheerleaders received guidance verbally and via email that outlined the ways cheerleaders should avoid interacting with NFL players.

According to the complaint, Saints cheerleaders:

-- are barred from following any players or coaches on social media
-- must block any Saints player who follows them on social media
-- cannot contact players, respond to messages from them or "like" any of their social media photos
-- must not post any images of themselves in Saints gear.
-- must not post any images of themselves that are considered "semi-nude" or that show them in lingerie
-- must avoid making eye contact and move to the side if they encounter a player in the tunnel that leads into the stadium
-- must leave a restaurant, bar or party if an NFL player is already there or arrives after them

According to the complaint, these restrictions extend to Saints cheerleaders' interactions with all players in the NFL and NBA.

Related: New York Jets settle wage lawsuit with cheerleaders

The complaint notes that the rules for cheerleaders are in addition to the NFL's personal conduct policy, which applies to all NFL personnel -- owners, coaches, players, other team employees, game officials and league office employees.

The NFL did not respond to a request for comment. An attorney for the Saints said in a statement that the team "denies that Ms. Davis was discriminated against because she is female."

The statement said the team's "policies and workplace rules will withstand legal scrutiny."

According to the complaint, the team's guidelines impose different treatment based on gender. The complaint quotes an email from a Saints employee saying the guidance is meant to "protect" female cheerleaders "from player advances and activity that can be deemed suspicious."

Related: The words we use to talk about the gender pay gap

The complaint states that the team investigated rumors that Davis attended a party where an NFL player was present, and warned her about the behavior. The team also accused her of receiving messages from players on Instagram, according to the complaint.

Davis denied attending the party. She admitted to receiving messages from players but said she never responded. Davis agreed to change her Instagram account from public to private to prevent players from finding her online. All Saints cheerleaders were then asked to make their accounts private.

Davis later posted a photo to her private Instagram account of herself wearing lacy lingerie. The photo was taken by a professional photographer, according to Davis' attorney, Sara Blackwell.

The photo was eventually seen by her bosses, who then terminated her employment for posting it and violating standards for conduct.

The complaint asserts that while female cheerleaders must heed numerous behavioral guidelines, no such restrictions exist for male players, who often post shirtless photos and are free to like photos of cheerleaders.

Related: What happens when women know how much other women make

Davis' attorney says the EEOC will investigate the allegations of gender discrimination and make a determination.

Normally an attorney could then file a formal lawsuit in court. However, Davis can't sue the Saints because she signed an arbitration agreement, giving up that right. Instead, her attorney has requested an arbitration hearing where a panel will review Davis' case.

Her attorney has also requested an immediate hearing with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

This isn't the first time NFL cheerleaders have brought complaints against the league and its teams alleging unfair treatment. Cheerleaders have sued NFL teams, including the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, and Buffalo Bills demanding fair pay.

Cheerleaders for the Buccaneers, Raiders, Bengals and Jets reached settlements with the teams.

The cheerleaders for the Bills filed a class action suit against the team, the NFL and several intermediary companies. The case currently isn't moving forward because one of the companies being sued went bankrupt.

Terre Haute
Few Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 52°
Robinson
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 44°
Indianapolis
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Rockville
Broken Clouds
49° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 43°
Casey
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 40°
Brazil
Few Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 52°
Marshall
Few Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 52°
Breezy & Colder
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 393797

Reported Deaths: 9889
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1811085450
DuPage23780615
Lake21373514
Will19141430
Kane17421348
Winnebago10703182
St. Clair8096221
Madison7373157
McHenry6671121
Champaign639028
Unassigned4786270
Peoria474877
McLean430138
Sangamon424863
Rock Island417393
Kankakee350581
Macon330854
Tazewell280956
Kendall279730
LaSalle255465
DeKalb246942
Coles203040
Adams200422
Boone195325
Williamson193861
Clinton182829
Vermilion181011
Jackson158426
Whiteside158430
Knox136221
Randolph131415
Ogle12717
Effingham12264
Marion110220
Stephenson10759
Franklin103310
Grundy10197
Morgan98324
Monroe97130
Bureau94817
Jefferson92052
Henry8637
Christian84629
Macoupin82911
Union79925
McDonough78920
Lee7692
Douglas7339
Shelby71512
Fayette69924
Livingston69210
Woodford67615
Crawford6636
Montgomery64416
Logan6144
Saline5969
Fulton5571
Jo Daviess5369
Warren5299
Bond5189
Iroquois51519
Wayne50914
Jersey48121
Cass46811
Perry46516
Moultrie4436
Carroll43712
Pike3887
Johnson3760
Lawrence3518
Richland34218
Washington3272
Clay32413
Hancock3214
Mason3175
Clark31417
Cumberland3086
Greene29915
Mercer2876
De Witt2756
White2744
Jasper27210
Piatt2651
Pulaski2451
Wabash2415
Ford20814
Menard1881
Marshall1663
Edgar15910
Massac1582
Alexander1361
Hamilton1352
Henderson1310
Brown1170
Edwards1140
Gallatin1102
Scott1090
Putnam980
Schuyler931
Stark923
Calhoun640
Hardin560
Pope421
Out of IL10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 169112

Reported Deaths: 4227
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26448794
Lake14804364
St. Joseph9866173
Elkhart9549145
Allen8886235
Hamilton6541119
Vanderburgh626970
Tippecanoe409816
Porter361451
Hendricks3472138
Monroe342638
Johnson3352131
Delaware318577
Clark312965
Vigo288341
Madison260797
LaPorte244165
Cass232725
Kosciusko214729
Warrick208965
Floyd190569
Howard172566
Dubois153526
Marshall152829
Bartholomew150758
Wayne149833
Grant138140
Henry137730
Boone132550
Noble127335
Hancock127144
Jackson123319
Dearborn105828
Lawrence102238
Morgan100940
Gibson96712
Clinton95216
Shelby94536
Daviess94136
Knox86110
LaGrange83115
Harrison82424
Fayette81022
DeKalb80011
Putnam78817
Posey7837
Jasper7235
Miami6985
Steuben6849
Montgomery65322
White64016
Adams6177
Greene59438
Scott56916
Decatur54739
Whitley5086
Ripley5018
Wells49011
Wabash4899
Clay4757
Sullivan47414
Starke47310
Huntington4725
Spencer4336
Orange43225
Randolph42711
Fulton4118
Jefferson4095
Perry40414
Washington3983
Jennings39613
Franklin38825
Pike36718
Fountain3563
Carroll35213
Jay3516
Vermillion2871
Tipton28623
Rush2654
Parke2644
Blackford2525
Newton24111
Owen2211
Martin2050
Pulaski1814
Crawford1661
Brown1523
Ohio1377
Union1240
Benton1130
Switzerland1030
Warren1021
Unassigned0236