Former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader Malori Wampler is suing the NFL team for discrimination. The team fired her after old photos of her wearing a painted on bikini for Playboy surfaced, but Wampler says she did nothing wrong. The Colts claim the Indonesian cheerleader broke the code of conduct, which states players and cheerleaders must refrain from "any act that will or may create notoriety."
The thing is ... the Playboy pics of Wampler existed well before she was hired as a cheerleader. And I'm not sure I buy that the team is oh-so-concerned about one of their cheerleaders appearing in provocative photos. First of all, Wampler's private parts are fully concealed by the painted bikini in the pics. In other words, she wasn't even NAKED! Which leads me to the other reason I'm callin' the Colts' bluff ... haven't tons of other cheerleaders before Wampler done far "worse"?
Surely, plenty of NFL cheerleaders have posed for Playboy before -- and in the buff. I can't exactly see these incidents as "shocking" or even detrimental to the franchise. If anything, it's a promotional strategy that most teams should feel lucky to have. If one of their cheerleaders poses for Playboy or, say, Maxim, it's basically free advertising and has to in some way bolster fan interest in the team.
And it seems Wampler agrees with me. She claims white Colts cheerleaders have done similar things without being fired (like one who posed for a risque photo while on the squad and wasn't disciplined at all), as have Colts players who have to follow the same code of conduct. In other words, she believes her termination was based on race and gender discrimination.
Still, it's hard to know for sure. Certainly her race and gender (duh) were known when she was hired. If the Colts were bigots, they probably wouldn't have ever brought her on as a cheerleader in the first place, right? Or did her race, compounded by the sexual nature of the photos that came to light, just send the Colts owners over the edge? That could be the case. Also, is there a puzzle piece missing here that we're not privy to? Did Wampler do something, or was something said to make her believe she was being discriminated against?
With Dan Emerson, the Colts' General Counsel, saying that Wampler's claims have "zero merit," clearly the ex-cheerleader needs solid proof to win in court. But I hope she finds it and gets the retribution she seeks, because the Colts' issue with her Playboy pics is nothing short of hypocritical nonsense.
Do you believe Wampler?
Image via YouTube