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Photo: Daniel Kucin Jr. / Icon Sportswire, Corbis via Getty Images

During a 2013 calendar photoshoot in Costa Rica, Redskins cheerleaders were allegedly required to take their tops off for photos not used in the calendar, while an all-male group of VIPs watched, telling the New York Times nine of the 36 cheerleaders were told to get ready and join sponsors as personal escorts at a nightclub.

Big picture: While the situation did not lead to sex, cheerleaders told the Times that they felt they were being wrongfully used as sex symbols. The allegations come on the heels of two lawsuits brought by NFL cheerleaders, and in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

“It’s just not right to send cheerleaders out with strange men when some of the girls clearly don’t want to go. But unfortunately, I feel like it won’t change until something terrible happens, like a girl is assaulted in some way, or raped. I think teams will start paying attention to this only when it’s too late.”
— One cheerleader told NYT

Both Stephanie Jojokian, director and choreographer for the Redskins’ cheerleaders, and the Redskins organization have pushed back on the report. Jojokain told the Times she "was not forcing anyone to go at all... We respect each other and our craft. It’s such a supportive environment for these ladies.”

The Redskins organization stood by the contractual obligations of the cheerleaders adding, "[e]ach Redskin cheerleader is contractually protected to ensure a safe and constructive environment. The work our cheerleaders do in our community, visiting our troops abroad, and supporting our team on the field is something the Redskins organization and our fans take great pride in.”

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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