Bailey Davis, former NFL cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints, filed a discrimination complaint after being fired for posting a photo of herself in a lacy bodysuit on Instagram. According to People, Davis has claimed that the Saints have a collection of unfair and forceful rules that apply to the cheerleaders, also called Saintsations, but not the players.
Davis’ complaint rests with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is a government agency that enforces civil rights laws. Her claims include gender discrimination on the basis of, what she considers, her unrightful job termination. Davis was fired specifically for breaking the Saints rule that prohibits its cheerleaders from wearing lingerie or appearing fully or semi-nude on social media.
“I was aware of the rules when I joined the team, of course, and I knew they were very strict and we had to be careful,” Davis said in an interview with People. “But it wasn’t until my termination that I realized the players didn’t have the same rules. It was just us.”
The rules set forth by the Saints team seem to go along with the antiquated stereotype of women needing protection from men in the workplace– an issue that is very prevalent in today’s society.
According to the New York Times, the Saints are not the only team who has been questioned regarding its regulations for cheerleaders. Cheerleaders on teams such as the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders have won settlements in lawsuits regarding gender discrimination.
Gender discrimination is a major issue in today’s society. There are many resources on SMU’s campus that serve as outlets for conversation, education, and refuge for anyone curious about or affected by gender discrimination. If you are interested in getting involved in the conversation, Not On My Campus has meetings every week and the Feminist Equality Movement has meetings every other week.