A lawyer representing two former NFL cheerleaders who have filed discrimination claims against the league reportedly proposed to settle the disputes for $1 in exchange for a meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Sara Blackwell, the lawyer representing former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis and former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ware, sent the proposal to the league Tuesday asking officials to meet with four cheerleaders to come up with rules and regulations that apply to each team, The New York Times reported.
“We’re not asking them to admit fault, or to admit guilt, or even admit there is anything wrong, Blackwell told The New York Times. “But if they do want to expect that cheerleaders should have a fair working environment, as they have stated, then it doesn’t make any common sense why the answer would be no.”
The proposal would also prohibit teams from disbanding their cheerleading squads for at least five years in order to prevent retaliation from workers who speak up about discrimination, the newspaper reported.
Dozens of cheerleaders from the NFL, as well as the NBA and NHL, have come forward in recent weeks to detail the endless sexual harassment and unwanted touching by “handsy” fans – with one former NFL cheerleader going as far as to compare the gig to being an escort.
The cheerleaders said team officials were aware of the unwanted remarks and touching but did little to prevent it. Labriah Lee Hold, a former Tennessee Titans cheerleader, told The New York Times earlier this month her and her colleagues would engage fans in groups for safety.
A former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, who asked not to be identified because she signed a non-disclosure agreement, told The Times about one instance when a Philadelphia Eagles fan told her he hoped she was raped.
The revelations came in wake of a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Davis. She claimed she was fired after posting a photograph of herself on Instagram and accused the Saints of having two separate rules for the players and cheerleaders.
Ware filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations claiming that she was discriminated against because of her faith and gender.
Davis and Ware appeared on ESPN together to discuss the complaints earlier this month. Ware said she was told by her former coach to keep quiet about her faith and “not talk too much about Jesus.”
Blackwell told The Times that the other two cheerleaders who could potentially join Davis and Ware in the proposed meeting has yet to be determined. Blackwell said she understood that a meeting with the league may not yield any changes. She hopes to get a response by May 4.
“We’re not asking them to admit fault, or to admit guilt, or even admit there is anything wrong.”
“I understand that they could meet with us, patronize us and do nothing in the end,” she said. “I understand that risk. But it’s a risk we’re willing to take to try and have real change.”
The NFL, who does not employ or operate the cheerleading squads, said in a statement that it supports fair employment practices.
“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,” NFL Spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “Our office will work with our clubs in sharing best practices and employment-related processes that will support club cheerleading squads within an appropriate and supportive workplace.”
Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce contributed to this report.