Washington Football Team suspends cheerleading squad amid sexual misconduct allegations

Washington DC - After a nearly seven-month investigation into dozens of sexual misconduct claims, the Washington Football Team announced an indefinite suspension of its cheerleading program.

Washington cheerleaders performing during an NFL game in 2015 (archive image).
Washington cheerleaders performing during an NFL game in 2015 (archive image).  © IMAGO / Icon SMI

As the NFL nears the conclusion of its investigation into the accusations, Yahoo Sports reported that the Washington organization has decided to pause its cheerleading program indefinitely.

An independent investigation began last July after 40 women spoke up about sexual misconduct by current and former members of the organization, including the team's owner, Dan Snyder.

Several of the accusers were members of the cheerleading team, with claims stemming back to 2004.

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The organization claimed that their decision to put a hold on the cheerleading program was also a part of the rebranding process the team has been undergoing over the last year.

While Washington hasn't officially confirmed that they will be dissolving the cheerleading squad in whole, it has already removed cheerleading director Jamilla Keene from her position, and isn't seeking to hire a replacement.

Building new bridges while burning the old ones

The team started its rebranding process in 2020.
The team started its rebranding process in 2020.  © IMAGO / Icon SMI

There's no denying that the 2020 NFL season brought new challenges to in-stadium entertainment, given most games were held without fan attendance. In that light, it makes sense why the organization announced it is seeking to fill a new role, Vice President of Guest Experience.

A press release sent out by the Washington Football Team said, "In order to provide a true 'blank slate' for the development of a new game day experience, the team will temporarily pause off-season activity of game day programs including cheerleading and music while the new experience is developed."

The timing of the announcement comes off a bit suspect, given the investigation is wrapping up. The Washington Post reported that agreements have been made between the cheerleaders and the team.

The lawyers involved have been tight-lipped regarding the details of any agreement.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Icon SMI

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