A former Miami Dolphins cheerleader has filed a complaint against her team and the NFL with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. Kristan Ware, who quit her job in the spring of 2017, described her former work environment as "hostile" and alleged that her Christian beliefs were mocked.
Ware recounted in her complaint that she received harsh treatment from cheerleading director Dorie Grogan since revealing that she would like to remain a virgin until she married. From then on, Grogan apparently treated her differently, and she recalled a photoshoot that made her feel uncomfortable.
The cheerleader told the Washington Post: "After being exposed, and having my virginity [cast] in a negative way, I felt so vulnerable. It kind of crushed my spirit to change into a bikini after [a] comment was made."
In 2016, Ware posted a photo of her baptism on her social media, which made her Grogan's target for more "discipline, ridicule, harassment and abuse."
In an interview with "CBS Evening News," the cheerleader also revealed that she received discrimination because of her faith and gender. The team director apparently disallowed her from mentioning God even as NFL players usually profess their faith publicly to kneel or pray before a game.
Ware filed the complaint to seek arbitration and a hearing with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The cheerleader stated that her experience with the team brought severe emotional and physical distress.
Both the Dolphins and the NFL issued separate statements to address the complaint. The team stated that the Dolphins uphold a positive work environment that does not discriminate against gender, race and religion. The league stated that it supports and encourages fair employment practices.
Ware worked at the Dolphins organization since 2014. On her official site, where she regularly posts her devotion, Ware calls herself a "cheerleader for Jesus Christ." Grogan, on the other hand, has been with the Dolphins for 22 years. She started out as a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys.