Attorney: NFL agrees to discuss alleged cheerleader discrimination

- A Sarasota lawyer representing two former NFL cheerleaders in discrimination complaints tells FOX 13 News the league is willing to talk about his clients' concerns.

Kristan Ann Ware was a Miami Dolphins cheerleader. Bailey Davis cheered for the New Orleans Saints. Both women loved their jobs, but say they were victims of discrimination.

"My whole third year I was treated very differently from my first two years," Ware said.

That final year on the squad, Ware alleges she faced hostility, retaliation, and discrimination because of her gender and religion.

Davis claims she was fired for simply posting a picture on social media.

Since filing their complaints, attorney Sara Blackwell says it's becoming clear that there are similar situations on other NFL cheerleading teams.

"I've been contacted and my clients have been contacted by over 60, 70, 80 cheerleaders," Blackwell said. "It's constant, and a lot of the stories are the same."

Recently, the NFL responded to Blackwell saying the league is interested in hearing recommendations about how things can be improved. She's been in talks with NFL lawyers this week and says the conversations have been positive.           

It's too soon to tell if the exchange will result in any policy changes, but all three women say it's time for the unfair treatment to stop.

"I hope that more girls speak up and that we're heard,” Davis said. “And that we want the same rules, and we deserve the same rules."

Ware added, "Because [there are] so many women that want to be NFL cheerleaders, I just want to make sure that when their dreams come true that it’s a more positive environment for them."

"We're hoping for change,” Blackwell said. “That’s really what we want, we want to make this a better atmosphere for these women."

Blackwell says the arbitration against the Saints and the Dolphins over gender and religion discrimination is also moving forward.

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