The Washington Football Team pushes “inclusivity” by moving to co-ed dance squad instead of cheerleaders

by Peter Heck · Mar 3rd, 2021 10:58 am

Last Updated Mar 4th, 2021 at 5:23 pm

To demonstrate their ongoing commitment to inclusivity, the NFL's Washington Football Team, formerly known as the Washington Redskins, is replacing its cheerleaders with co-ed dancers.

Petra Pope, a senior adviser for the team, said that what the organization is "really honing in on" is being "super athletic," something that isn't a hallmark of traditional cheerleading.

"We want to be more inclusive, so we are going to invite a coed entity," Pope said. "We're able to do more things with the strength of a male, and lifts, so that's changed a great deal. The inclusivity, strength, and interest of choreography has changed."

Beyond inclusivity concerns, another reason the team may be moving to a co-ed dance squad is because it is in the process of resolving sexual harassment lawsuits with over 40 women, including cheerleaders from previous years.

Pope said there are no plans to create a calendar shoot of the new dance team.

"At this point, as we re-imagine what this looks like, that's not in the plans. We're going to move forward to a more modern entity, and that more than likely will not be a part of it," she said. "Right now we're thinking modern, modern franchise. A calendar is not a part of that process."


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