For five years, Courtney Lenz cheered on the Baltimore Ravens. However, she will soon miss out on what should be the most exciting event of her cheerleading career, the Super Bowl. The reason the veteran is left out? According to an online petition, Lenz is in trouble for choosing to retire and for gaining two pounds during the season.
“I’m just devastated by the whole situation,” Lenz told Good Morning America. ”This was very unexpected… I didn’t even think there would be a chance of me not going with being a five-year veteran.”
Ravens representative Heather Harness told Zap2It they had to narrow the squad down from 60 to 32 girls for the game.
“Our selection process was based upon three criteria: seniority, performance ability and personal conduct throughout the season,” said Harness.
However, Debbie Krammer, who began the petition, said Lenz was the only 3+ year veteran who wasn’t invited to the game. Krammer also claimed that Lenz is one of the most popular cheerleaders on the squad and was recently ranked as one of the “100 hottest cheerleaders.”
This has led many people to believe that Lenz wasn’t selected to perform at the game because of her weight gain.
Krammer wrote the Ravens about Lenz’s weight was an “absurd, unhealthy and a complete inaccurate measurement of a woman’s appearance and size!”
This wasn’t the first time Lenz was penalized for her weight, either. Earlier this season, she was benched from a game for gaining “1.6 pounds.” She said that the squad’s directors then forced her to pay for meetings with a nutritionist and counselor.
Unfortunately, after the petition was established, Lenz was formally dismissed from the cheerleading team. As can (and should) be expected, there’s been a lot of public outcry. On the Facebook page established for Lenz, one supporter wrote “This makes me so sad. This is sending the wrong message to young girls who already struggle with body image.”
What do you think?