“Originally I would have loved to go to the Super Bowl, but at this point it looks like it’s not going to happen … I received an email saying I need to turn in my uniform. I can’t say I didn’t expect it, but at the same time, they owe that to me.”
So pontificates Courtney Lenz, a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader whom the team did not send to the Super Bowl.
Talk about carrying the massive chip of entitlement on her plump shoulder.
But fear not! A movement is under way by misguided souls (a.k.a. idiots) using social media to mount a campaign aimed at changing the team’s mind. One of the organizers even threatened to boycott the game, stating that because of this unconscionable incident, people want to burn their jerseys and no longer support the Ravens.
And of course, the national media has picked up Lenz’s cause, fawning over the “beauty’s” plight and unashamedly biasing their stories to reflect negatively on Baltimore—without, of course, looking at its side of the story.
So before we see a politically correct decision by the NFL to pressure Baltimore to reverse itself, let’s set the record straight in this case:
1. The Baltimore Ravens employ 60 cheerleaders. The NFL allows only 32 from each team to attend the Super Bowl. Put another way, 28 cheerleaders cannot go to the big game. This isn’t a new rule, and every NFL cheerleader should know that.
2. Understanding the aforementioned rule, no one is entitled to or “owed” anything. Get over it, and yourself, Ms. Lenz.
3. The Baltimore Ravens, like every NFL team, have set forth criteria that must be met in order to be considered for Super Bowl duty. In the Ravens’ opinion, Lenz came up short in some capacity. Is Lenz the only one with more than three years of service who isn’t going to New Orleans (according to her)? Yes. Does that suck for her? Yes. Does she deserve to go on that basis alone? No.
Thankfully, the Ravens don’t employ a tenure system whereby one is guaranteed benefits with virtually no recourse should that person fall short of acceptable achievement—kind of like how our public education system and public unions are operated. And look at how well both of them are doing.
4. If Lenz’s weight was the deciding factor in the Ravens’ decision, so be it. Cheerleaders, like dancers and other entertainment professionals, must meet stringent physical standards. Not only is fitness critical to optimally performing the cheerleaders’ demanding routines, but no one wants to look at an overweight woman shaking her assets. Call that ignorant, sexist and chauvinistic. Fine. But make sure you call it something else: reality. We may be a fat country, but we don’t want to look at corpulent cheerleaders. And that’s a fact.
It’s like the plump pop singer Adele recently slamming Madonna and Lady Gaga for using skimpy, sexy outfits to sell their music. Maybe they do, but they also have fantastic voices and dynamic entertainment abilities. Adele also has great pipes, but she is an anomaly, as most singers are highly fit and often (but not always) wear provocative outfits. Adele can lament all she wants on the sensual nature of top female vocalists, but that is what the vast majority of fans—both male and female—not just gravitate to, but demand.
5. The Ravens’ decision on Lenz is discriminatory—and that is a good thing, exactly how it should be. Discrimination has become a dirty word, yet it is an everyday part of life. We discriminate—another word for making a choice—all the time, from what clothes we wear to what kind of latte we order. No one held a gun to Lenz’s head ordering her to work as a Ravens cheerleader, and they have every right to make personnel decisions as they see fit—no explanation warranted or necessary.
The Ravens may have chosen not to send this cheerleader to the Super Bowl because she weighed more than they preferred. Or because she was ending her career as a cheerleader and they wanted to give the Super Bowl experience to an up-and-comer who would be continuing her service with the Ravens. Or because they didn’t like her attitude. Or because they thought she smelled. Who cares what the reason was? Lenz apparently wasn’t denied the Super Bowl because of color, creed or religion—and certainly not gender—so no one has the “right” to feel that that “entitlement” was wrongfully revoked. Not Lenz. Not her Facebook friends. And not the news media.