Well, this is nothing to cheer about: Courtney Lenz, a five-year veteran of the Baltimore Ravens cheerleading squad, says she’s been unceremoniously dissed by the organization and will be sitting out Sunday’s Super Bowl face-off against the San Francisco 49ers after gaining approximately two pounds during the regular season.
Incensed, Courtney’s friends and fans have started an online petition in support of the 23-year-old, who says she’s been benched from the big game after weighing in at 124 pounds.
Courtney told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson Wednesday:
“During the season, I was 124. That was consistently, they wanted me to get back down to 121, 120, which is what I was at when I was 18, 19, when I started on the team. When I got benched, I think I was 125.4 or 125.6, somewhere around there, but because I had gained and I hadn’t been consistent and I hadn’t lost, they had to bench me. I mean that’s like, I shouldn’t have even eaten lunch that day.”
Lenz says her waistline has been a source of contention for Ravens bosses since last fall.
“…We do get weighed every week during the season, and you can’t fluctuate at all. They don’t allow fluctuation. I gained, I think it was 1.8 pounds. I had been consistent and they let me cheer [previously] and then I gained 1.8 or 1.6 pounds and they said because I had gained weight and they wanted me to be consistent or they wanted me to lose, they benched me for a game…”
When asked by Robinson if she felt her Super Bowl sideline has to do with her weight, Courtney replied:
“…Anybody that had disciplinary action taken during the season was automatically disqualified. However, there are some girls on the team that were also benched for their weight, and are going. So they just aren’t consistent, it isn’t fair. That’s why I brought this to the attention of the fans because what they’re doing is not right.”
Don’t expect the Ravens to take that sitting down. The organization defended itself in a statement to ABC News this evening:
“As set by the NFL, we are permitted to bring 32 cheerleaders to the Super Bowl. Our selection process was based upon three criteria: seniority, performance ability and personal conduct throughout the season. As much as we would like to take the whole team, we are unable to do so, due to parameters set by the NFL.”