In a report published by the New York Times on Wednesday, a group of Washington Redskins cheerleaders described being required to pose topless for a photo shoot in front of male team sponsors and escort sponsors to a nightclub during a visit to the Occidental Grand Papagayo Resort in northwestern Costa Rica in 2013.
“The first cause for concern among the cheerleaders came when Redskins officials collected their passports upon arrival at the resort, depriving them of their official identification,” the Times reported.
“For the photo shoot, at the adults-only Occidental Grand Papagayo resort on Culebra Bay, some of the cheerleaders said they were required to be topless, though the photographs used for the calendar would not show nudity. Others wore nothing but body paint. Given the resort’s secluded setting, such revealing poses would not have been a concern for the women — except that the Redskins had invited spectators.
“A contingent of sponsors and FedExField suite holders — all men — were granted up-close access to the photo shoots.”
The New York Times reported that at the end of the day, the squad’s director told cheerleaders that some of them had been requested as escorts at a nightclub by male sponsors.
“Several of them began to cry. ‘They weren’t putting a gun to our heads, but it was mandatory for us to go,’ one of the cheerleaders said. ‘We weren’t asked, we were told.’”
The Times interviewed five cheerleaders for the story who spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements they signed upon joining the squad. The Times also interviewed the Redskins’ longtime cheerleading director, Stephanie Jojokian, who disputed much of the women’s description of the trip. Read the full story here.