Two former Washington Redskins cheerleaders opened up about their experience with the team to the Today show. The women defended the NFL team against allegations of inappropriate behavior during a 2013 trip to Costa Rica.
In a New York Times report, five women claim that the cheerleaders were forced to pose topless and serve as escorts to wealthy male sponsors during the trip.
Rachel Gill and Charo Bishop, however, say those allegations are untrue. While appearing on the morning show Friday, the women stressed that while they couldn’t speak on behalf of their former teammates’ feelings, they didn’t feel any pressure during the trip.
“All optional. Voluntary,” Bishop said. “Some girls were excited to do those things. In terms of being an escort, that was never a perception I had. I think that being friendly and receptive and welcoming to sponsors is completely different than being an escort.”
Gill, who attended the Costa Rica trip but did not go to the nightclub, also defended the cheerleaders’ interaction with the male sponsors.
“Those terms ‘pimped out,’ ‘escort,’ they just need to stop because it’s absolutely not what happened,” she said.
Both Gill and Bishop were asked to speak on behalf of the Redskins.
In a statement, Redskins president Bruce Allen said the team was “looking into” the allegations but added that “a number of” cheerleaders had different accounts than what was reported in the New York Times.
“Based on the dialogue we’ve had with a number of current and former cheerleaders over the past 48 hours, we’ve heard very different first-hand accounts that directly contradict many of the details of the May 2 article,” Allen said.
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