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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.

Proud Resident of Northborough February 02, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Who cares? All she really cares about is getting her 5 minutes of fame, and the press is obliging magnificently.
Charlie Schnapps February 02, 2013 at 02:10 PM
I think she's getting her 5 minutes (maybe 15) of fame because weight and appearances are a bit of an obsession in our culture. If she gained 2 pounds I doubt that's why she's not cheering this Sunday. But if weight was a deciding factor: there is a certain image that professional cheerleaders are expected to maintain and I don't think it's unreasonable to cut or leave behind people who don't fit that image. If I had acne I'm not going to expect to be the "after" model in a ProActive commercial.
FF February 02, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Welcome to corporate America in the workplace. If your a size 2 you can do no wrong. If your not...you're days are numbered.
Peg February 02, 2013 at 05:52 PM
1.6 lbs. doesn't make a darn bit of difference. She was left behind for other reasons, she's trying to cash in on TV appearances and a possible discrimination lawsuit. The true story will all come out in the end.
Ray Fellows February 02, 2013 at 10:45 PM
I was wondering who would care about this story and why anyone would waste their time on writing it and then I saw it was from the Hufffington Post and that explained it all. I dont think I have ever read anything interesting or factual in that rag.

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