(CBS) – Courtney Lenz, a five-year veteran of the Ravens cheerleading team, says the team won’t let her cheer during the Super Bowl because she gained weight during the season.
“They said that I had quote, unquote, a rough year,” Lenz said on Access Hollywood. “I’d been benched earlier in the season for a little bit of a weight gain. We do get weighed every week during the season, and you can’t fluctuate at all. 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 and because it was a disciplinary action, that was the reason.”
Lenz said the team is claiming she can’t cheer during the Super Bowl because anyone who received disciplinary action during the season is disqualified from the Super Bowl, but, according to Lenz, that isn’t exactly true.
“During the season, I was 124 (pounds),” Lenz said. “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. That was the only disciplinary action I had during the year. I got benched because of my weight, and they said that was the reason. Anybody that had disciplinary action taken during the season was automatically disqualified (from the Super Bowl.) 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.”
In the wake of Lenz’s comments, the Ravens released a statement Thursday morning:
“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.”