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Redskins Cheerleaders Detail '13 Trip to Costa Rica Involving Topless Photo Shoot

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2018

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 15: Washington Redskins cheerleaders perform while wearing pink for breast cancer awareness during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field on October 15, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins won 26-24. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Several former Washington Redskins cheerleaders felt a 2013 trip to Costa Rica crossed the line beyond their usual responsibilities. 

According to Juliet Macur of the New York Times, the women were required to be topless as part of a calendar shoot while male sponsors and FedEx Field suite holders were allowed to watch.

Several of the cheerleaders were also "picked" to be personal escorts at a nightclub later that night, although sex was not involved and the team denies that participation in that portion of the trip was mandatory.

Director and choreographer Stephanie Jojokian claimed that it was a voluntary addition to the trip but the cheerleaders apparently saw it differently.

"They weren't putting a gun to our heads, but it was mandatory for us to go," one cheerleader said. "We weren't asked, we were told. Other girls were devastated because we knew exactly what she was doing."

The cheerleaders, who were not paid for the trip, also said they had their passports taken away from them upon arriving in Costa Rica, removing their only form of identification. However, Jojokian said this was so they wouldn't get stolen.

The treatment of cheerleaders across the NFL has come under more intense scrutiny as of late, with several questionable stories coming to light in recent weeks.

A former Dolphins cheerleader filed a grievance against the league last month because she said she was discriminated against because of her religion and gender. Molly Knight of Marie Claire delved into that case and another where a Saints cheerleader faced discipline for her social media habits.

Two years ago, a lawsuit discovered some NFL cheerleaders were making less than $2 per hour for their work.

The women hope coming forward will bring some changes to the current system.

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