Lawyers are calling for pictures of former Washington cheerleaders to be removed

Attorneys for more than three dozen former Washington Commanders employees have demanded that “sexualized and embarrassing photos” of the organization’s former cheerleaders be removed from all congressional records.

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz sent a scathing letter to House Oversight and Reform Committee ranking member James Comer (R-Kentucky), saying their clients are “humiliated and outraged by the Republican administration’s reckless dissemination of these photos.”

The photos in question were originally sent by former team general manager and team president Bruce Allen to former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden and several other men. Fifty-seven emails were distributed as part of a Republican memo on Dec. 7 following the release of the Democratic-led committee’s investigation into Commanders owner Dan Snyder and the organization’s workplace.

Banks told ESPN that the inclusion of those documents was “outrageous.” She called the publication of these photos “unnecessary, inappropriate and unprofessional”.

A Republican committee aide said the images are not and will not be part of the congressional record. The memo was distributed to Republican staff members. The memorandum was also received by many media.

The aide said in a statement that Democrats had “picked the facts” to support their narrative and that the Republican memo said more evidence should be considered.

The statement also noted that “prior to the distribution of the internal memo, committee staff ensured that all sensitive images involving cheerleaders were redacted and their identities remained confidential.”

Banks and Katz also sent their letter to outgoing committee chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-New York). Comer will take over as chairman of the board next month.

A spokesman for the committee’s Democrats told ESPN: “Our report exposed what is possible when those in power seek to perpetuate a culture that glorifies sexual harassment. No organization should ever distribute sexualized images of an individual without their permission, least of all a body , which is charged with protecting women from sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace. We hope committee Republicans will hear the concerns of the women presented in their report and take overdue steps to protect their privacy.”

Last week, Republicans released 57 emails and documents that included pictures of former Washington cheerleaders whose faces had been blacked out.

“These emails show that a toxic work environment existed under Allen’s leadership — one that has since been reformed based on independent reviews of the team’s culture,” the memo says. “Democrats on the committee have not identified or presented any similar emails or documents identifying any racist, misogynistic or homophobic behavior by Dan Snyder.”

Melanie Coburn, a former Washington cheerleader and director of marketing, said two of the cheerleader photos were from the calendar, while others had been pre-processed, placed in binders designed to show ownership, and had not yet been released.

“It’s more about when [Allen] got access to those and what condition those photos were in,” Coburn said. “With some body colors, if left uncorrected, they are very revealing.

“These women are devastated again. They feel powerless, silenced and re-traumatized.”

Coburn said the inclusion of the images was a “slap in the face” of legislation introduced by Maloney, called the Professional Image Protection Act, which would “protect against the misuse of employee images by employers and ensure that employees have a say in it , how and when their images will be used for business purposes.”

“These are our elected officials in the context of what is supposed to be an official document that cites as part of its report shameful sexualized images, apparently to embarrass one individual with whom Dan Snyder is at odds,” Banks told ESPN .

In a letter to Comer, Banks and Katz, who represent more than 40 former team employees, said the inclusion of pictures of the former cheerleaders caused “additional and unnecessary pain.” Coburn said some of the women involved in the images were also part of indecent photo shoot videos allegedly made for Snyder.

“These photographs, which show female breasts, buttocks and genital areas,” the letter said, “were apparently circulated to advance team owner Daniel Snyder’s persistent but discredited narrative that Bruce Allen was responsible for the sexual act, not Mr. Snyder.hostile and misogynistic team culture.

“Our clients also want assurances that these photos will never be used in this way again.”

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