Former Saints cheerleader fired over racy Instagram post; files complaint

Although the NFL is willing to listen to recommendations to improve workplace conditions, it did not accept the proposal to settle for $1.

Bailey Davis, a former Saints cheerleader fired over a racy Instagram post, has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming the NFL forces unfair rules against cheerleaders, The New York Times reported.

Davis, 22, said the Saints claimed a photo posted to her private Instagram violated a policy prohibiting cheerleaders from posting pictures of themselves appearing nude, seminude or in lingerie.

Davis’ complaint focuses on the rules the Saints impose on cheerleaders — rules the team claims protect cheerleaders from men preying on them. According to the Times, the Saints handbook for cheerleaders has a strict anti-fraternization policy that requires or suggests they do the following:

— Avoid contact with players, in person or online
— Block players from following them on social media
— Not dine in the same restaurant as players

Davis, upset similar rules are not levied on players, argues cheerleaders should fall under the umbrella of NFL personnel, therefore safe from “any forms of unlawful discrimination in employment” based on race, gender, etc.

“I’m doing this for them so they can do what they love and feel protected and empowered, and be a female athlete and not be pushed to the side and feeling unimportant,” Davis said.

In text messages obtained by The Times, senior director of the Saints cheerleading team Ashley Deaton told Davis her Instagram post displayed “very poor judgement” because she was recently accused of being at the same party as a player.

MORE: Saints, Pelicans owner Tom Benson dies at age 90

Though no evidence was found she was at the party in question, Davis was fired four days after the Instagram post.

“At the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum, the Saints will defend the organization’s policies and workplace rules,” the Saints said in a statement. “For now, it is sufficient to say that Ms. Davis was not subjected to discrimination because of her gender.”