May 11, 2011, 3:40 PM EST
Beware an NFL cheerleader scorned. In November of 2010, the Indianapolis Colts fired cheeerleader Malori Wampler, presumably over photos that appeared from a Playboy promotional event of her wearing naught but body paint. This past Thursday Wampler fired back, filing a lawsuit against the Colts in which her lawyer claims “The Colts terminated Wampler because of her sex … her race and national origin.” Wampler further claims that when the team was notified of the Playboy photos before she was fired, they said that it wasn’t an issue.
And you thought there would be no NFL action during the lockout. Looks like the Colts will be busy! From Sports by Brooks:
Wampler was fired after a Colts fan forwarded the club photos of her wearing only body paint at a 2010 Playboy Magazine promotional event.
According to the lawsuit, before Wampler took a job with the team she notified the Colts of her previous employment with Playboy – and the nature of that employment. The complaint also states that after Colts officials were informed of that fact, they determined that Wampler’s past employment by Playboy “was not an issue.”
But rather than merely contest the veracity of the team’s decision to fire her over the photos because it allegedly violated club policy, in the U.S. District Court filing Wampler’s attorney Kimberly D. Jeselskis also claimed, “The Colts terminated Wampler because of her sex” and “the Colts terminated Wampler because of her race and national origin.”
Here’s where the lawsuit gets interesting: Wampler is claiming sex and race discrimination (she’s Indonesian) because the Colts didn’t fire players from the team for engaging in questionable off-field behavior; things she says that were much worse than posing for a Playboy event.
Are not players, in essence, employees of the Colts, just as the cheerleaders are? If so, are they held to the same employment standards? It will be interesting to see how far Wampler gets with this.
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