Courtney Lenz is a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader, but she is not welcome at the Super Bowl despite her team being one of the two that is playing for a championship. On Wednesday evening, Lenz sat down for an interview on “Access Hollywood” and explained why she has been barred from the big game. She says that it ultimately has to do with her weight.
“They said that I had quote, unquote, a rough year,” Lenz said, via the Chicago Tribune. “I’d been benched earlier in the season for a little bit of a weight gain. We do get weighed every week during the season, and you can’t fluctuate at all. I gained, I think it was 1.8 pounds. I had been consistent and they let me cheer previously and then I gained 1.8 or 1.6 pounds and they said because I had gained weight and they wanted me to be consistent or they wanted me to lose, they benched me for a game and because it was a disciplinary action, that was the reason.”
The concept of “benching” a cheerleader because she gains a little over a pound seems asinine to begin with, but apparently those are the rules. Lenz says she was told that any cheerleader who had disciplinary action taken against them would not be invited to the Super Bowl.
“During the season, I was 124 (pounds),” she explained. “That was consistently, they wanted me to get back down to 121, 120, which is what I was at when I was 18, 19, when I started on the team. That was the only disciplinary action I had during the year. I got benched because of my weight, and they said that was the reason. Anybody that had disciplinary action taken during the season was automatically disqualified (from the Super Bowl).
However, Lenz said there are some other girls on the team who were also benched because of their weight during the season that have been invited to the Super Bowl. In a statement released on Thursday morning, the Ravens attempted to clarify their selection process for bringing cheerleaders to New Orleans.
“As set by the NFL, we are permitted to bring 32 cheerleaders to the Super Bowl. Our selection process was based upon three criteria: seniority, performance ability and personal conduct throughout the season. As much as we would like to take the whole team, we are unable to do so, due to parameters set by the NFL.”
From the sound of it, this is an issue with the entire system. Don’t be surprised if the rules and regulations for NFL cheerleading are examined after the press this story is receiving.Google+