Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders Absent Due to Pending Lawsuit as Season Approaches

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2014

The Buffalo Jills' perform before an NFL preseason football game featuring the Buffalo Bills against the Detroit Lions Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Gary Wiepert/Associated Press

The Buffalo Bills will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday at Ralph Wilson Stadium in a preseason matchup, but they will be without the services of their cheerleading squad, the Buffalo Jills.

According to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, the cheerleaders are absent due to a lawsuit that will carry into the regular season:

The Jills are unique in that a production company (SteJon Productions), not the Buffalo Bills, oversees and manages the cheerleading squad. On April 25, WRGZ-TV (h/t USA Today) reported that SteJon Productions President Stephanie Mateczun suspended Jills operations indefinitely. Per the report: 
This development comes two days after five former cheerleaders filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against SteJon Productions, Citadel Broadcasting -- which previously operated the Jills -- and the Buffalo Bills, claiming the defendants failed to pay the Jills in accordance with state minimum wage laws.
Tonight marks the Bills' first home game post-lawsuit, and hence the first of possibly many games the Jills will not be on the field.