Super Bowl Cheerleading Controversy: Isolated Incident or Larger Issue?

A Ravens cheerleader has been making headlines for the reasons she says she was banned from cheering on Super Bowl Sunday.

The story of a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader who said she was disciplined for weight gain—and believes this is a reason she was left behind from the Super Bowl—has been making headlines across the country.

Cheerleader Courtney Lenz said she thinks her team didn't take her to the Super Bowl was because she gained 1.6 pounds.

Admittedly, her story has changed through the week: Yahoo Sports noted she first said the team was upset because she had chosen to retire at the end of the season. She later told Good Morning America she thought the decision was because of her weigh-in.

The alleged snub led to supporters starting an online petition to reinstate her, The Huffington Post reported. The team has said they picked cheerleaders for the Super Bowl based on seniority, performance and personal conduct.

What do you think of Lenz's claim? Should cheerleaders expect their appearance to affect their job, or should it not be an issue? Does it bring up larger issues of female athletes and body image? Tell us in the comments.

Stephanie February 02, 2013 at 04:59 PM
I have conflicting feelings about this issue. If she was barred because she announced her retirement, I think that's ridiculous. The Ravens' season isn't over, so it shouldn't be an issue. As far as the potential weight gain, I still think it's stupid, but she is in an area where appearance is very important. It sends a bad message to females in general, but I vaguely remember some sort of similar specification about weight/appearance with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders reality show. I still don't think it's right (I mean, 1.6 lbs? Come on!), but I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the fine print of their contract.
paul February 02, 2013 at 05:34 PM
This story is another reason to jump on the San Francisco 49ers bandwagon.
DJ February 02, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Except for the homophobic comments of Chris Culliver, Ahmad Brooks, and Isaac Sopoaga.
Jack February 02, 2013 at 07:13 PM


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