Bailey Davis is a former cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints who is currently suing the organization for workplace discrimination. Davis worked for the organization for three seasons before being fired for breaking team rules about fraternization and social media usage — rules which, according to Bailey, place an unfair onus on the organization’s female employees.
Who Is Bailey Davis?
Davis, 22, is a former New Orleans Saints cheerleader and current college student from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Following her recent firing from the Saintsations cheer squad over accusations that she partied with Saints players and posted a photo of herself in a one-piece swimsuit to her private Instagram, Davis filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that the Saints enforce two separate sets of rules and standards for their players and cheerleaders, a discrepancy which she asserts is equal to gender discrimination. Davis has denied partying with Saints players and claims she set her Instagram to private after a previous discussion with her superiors.
Davis’s complaint further asserts that her firing was the result of policies which force Saints cheerleaders to avoid all contact with players, both online and in-person while making no such requirements and threats of termination towards players. According to the New York Times, Saints cheerleaders have been told that if they enter a restaurant where a Saints player is already eating, they must leave. If a Saints player enters a restaurant that a cheerleader is already at, that cheerleader must still leave.
While past cases involving NFL cheerleaders have led to scrutiny over the difference between team employees and employees of the league itself, with the NFL successfully arguing that the league was not culpable in cheerleader pay disputes, Davis says her complaint was filed as former NFL personnel. The crux of her case will then fall on interpretation of the league’s personal conduct policy, which forbids any forms of unlawful discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation, “regardless of whether it occurs in the workplace or in other NFL-sponsored settings.”
Davis’s case will not be used to reverse a wrongful firing claim, but instead use to reverse team policies which she feels have been unfairly harsh to cheerleaders.
“At the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum, the Saints will defend the organization’s policies and workplace rules,” Leslie A. Lanusse, a lawyer representing the Saints organization, said in an e-mail to the New York Times. “For now, it is sufficient to say that Ms. Davis was not subject to discrimination because of her gender.”
The NFL has so far declined to comment.