A former cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins says she faced discrimination from her team and the NFL after she admitted she was a Christian and a virgin.
Kristan Ann Ware filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations saying that her workplace became hostile after she told the other cheerleaders that she was waiting until marriage to have sex.
Ware was a cheerleader for the Dolphins for three years.
Ware says she was also criticized after she posted a photo of her baptism with a Bible verse on social media.
When she interviewed to return to the team in 2016, cheerleader director Dorie Grogan allegedly told Ware: “Let’s talk about your virginity.”
A source with the cheerleading team said the team knew about Grogan’s meeting with Ware and the director had been reprimanded.
“In 2016, we were made aware of an incident with our cheerleaders that fell short of our standards and expectations,” the source said. “We immediately addressed the issue and reprimanded the supervisor, who subsequently apologized to the entire team.”
Grogan is still director of the team.
Ware’s lawyer, Sara Blackwell, said Ware told the cheerleaders about her virginity in 2015 when the cheerleaders were in London. The other dancers were talking about their “sex playlist” and Ware was “pushed to give her playlist.”
Blackwell said she told her teammates she was waiting for marriage.
At a 2016 rehearsal, Ware said she was teased for wearing a set of “angel wings” and in her “Motivation Monday” story for the Dolphins’ blog, her references to God and Christ were edited out.
Ware said she was also falsely accused of “groping a fan’s breast and butt at an appearance.”
In her complaint, Ware is seeking arbitration from the Florida commission and a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I loved my job,” Ware said in an interview last week. “It was great, but after that things just started to change … It became unbearable.”
Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL, said he couldn’t comment on the complaint because he had not seen it, but he said cheerleaders work for their teams, not the NFL.
“Everyone who works in the NFL, including cheerleaders, has the right to work in a positive and respectful environment that is free from any and all forms of harassment and discrimination and fully complies with state and federal laws,” a statement from the NFL said.
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Kristan Ann Ware
Publication date: April 16, 2018