ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Redskins say they're concerned by allegations made by cheerleaders in a New York Times article about a trip to Costa Rica for a photo shoot in 2013.
Team president Bruce Allen said in a statement Thursday the organization is immediately looking into the situation. Allen says if the investigation shows any employees acted inappropriately, "those employees will face significant repercussions."
The New York Times reported the cheerleaders had their passports collected, were forced to be topless for a calendar photo shoot that included male spectators and were asked to be escorts for sponsors at a nightclub. The story, published Wednesday, quoted cheerleaders on condition of anonymity because they signed confidentiality agreements.
Allen says team officials have had dialogue with a number of current and former cheerleaders and have "heard very different firsthand accounts that directly contradict many of the details" of the article. Allen says the Redskins "will continue to take all necessary measures to create a safe and respectful work environment for their cheerleaders."
Full statement by Washington Redskins Team President Bruce Allen regarding cheerleaders in New York Times article:
“The Redskins organization is very concerned by the allegations involving our cheerleaders in the recent New York Times article. We are immediately looking into this situation and want to express how serious we take these allegations. Based on the dialogue we’ve had with a number of current and former cheerleaders over the past 48 hours, we’ve heard very different first-hand accounts that directly contradict many of the details of the May 2 article. I can promise that once we have completed looking into this matter, if it is revealed that any of our employees acted inappropriately, those employees will face significant repercussions.
“Our entire organization has great appreciation and respect for our cheerleaders. From the work they do in the local community, to visiting our troops abroad, and for always representing the Redskins organization in a first-class manner, these women are exemplary members of our organization and are worthy of our utmost respect. We are proud of these women and support them during this time. We will continue to take all necessary measures to create a safe and respectful work environment.”