Lawsuit Alleges NFL Database Contains Lewd Photos of Cheerleaders
Fans of the New Orleans Saints and the NFL, in general, are familiar with the work of NFL Films. They are the people that capture the moments in and around each of the league's contests. They're also quite good at capturing the feelings and emotions of fans in the stands as well. However, these video historians of the NFL have found themselves under fire because of a lawsuit that was filed by a former employee.
Victoria Russel, in a story reported by the Wall Street Journal, alleges that NFL Films keeps a secret database of what many would be considered to be lewd and unsavory content. Some of the images reported to be in the "sensitive file" include close-up shots of the breasts and buttocks of cheerleaders.
A spokesman for the NFL denies any wrongdoing. Brian McCarthy, in the Wall Street Journal article, stated that the images were marked sensitive so they would not be accessible and inadvertently be used. McCarthy also suggested through his comments that Ms. Russel did not have credentials to access those files, nor did her job responsibilities involve accessing the alleged images.
It should be noted that the NFL team owner Dan Snyder of the Washington Commanders has been under fire for something very similar. It has been alleged that Snyder arranged for someone in the organization to secretly film explicit content featuring the team's cheerleaders. It has also been alleged that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell helped to suppress evidence of sexual harassment in the Commander's facility.
The Wall Street Journal says that the lawsuit filed by Russel claims that she was denied a specific workspace as well as advancement opportunities and pay incentives that were offered to her male counterparts. The article also notes that Russel was fired abruptly while pregnant without receiving any warnings over her performance before her dismissal. The WSJ article also noted that Russel was dismissed after reporting her concerns to the NFL's Chief Diversity Officer.
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