Earlier today, ESPN reported that they had uncovered documents showing that a senior executive in the Dallas Cowboys organization — described by some as an extended member of the Jones family — was accused of voyeurism by four Cowboys cheerleaders in 2015.
According to the cheerleaders, Richard Dalrymple, Cowboys senior vice president of public relations and communications, entered the locker room while they were changing and held out a phone to them from behind a partial wall, indicating that he had photos or videos of them in a state of undressing. After the women saw and recognized him, they chased him out of the locker room and immediately reported the incident to a security guard before going to HR.
No photo or video evidence was found in Dalrymple’s phone, but the cheerleaders’ testimony suggests they do not believe the Cowboys organization has done a thorough enough investigation of him. During their investigation, the General Counsel examined Dalrymple’s work phone, but believed his word that it was the only phone he was using on the day of the reported incident. Dalrymple said he had been in the locker room to use a restroom — a suspicious allegation to the women involved, given that there was a restroom directly across the hallway from the locker room, according to ESPN.
While adjustments were made to increase locker room security, the women were told essentially nothing concrete would be done about Dalrymple other than blocking his access to the locker room. This prompted the cheerleaders to hire an attorney to review potential lawsuits against the Cowboys, leaving them with two choices: go public and fight the most valuable franchise in the NFL, or quietly settle for some cash and an NDA. sign, prohibiting them from ever speaking about the incident.
In the end, the Cowboys paid out a total of $2.4 million to the cheerleaders, divided among them, and Dalrymple remained in his position with the team until earlier this month, when he resigned and continues to deny all allegations of wrongdoing.
Revolving around men playing, coaching, and running football, the NFL is a decidedly masculine space. While 38.2 percent of employees in the NFL were women in 2020, we’ve also heard stories of those female employees who have experienced harassment and abuse in their workplaces, particularly in Washington under Dan Snyder† The only place where women have a place in football is on the cheerleading squad, and if there’s one team known for cheerleading, it’s the Dallas Cowboys.
Founded in 1972, the team has a popular reality TV show called “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.” Texas Monthly recently launched a podcast series on the franchise’s cheerleading history called “America’s Girls,” and host Sarah Hepola said in a recent interview with Jezebel that “NFL cheerleaders were basically introduced to ogle… It’s a design, not a bug.” The group is iconic Americana, created to attract viewers with their beauty, dance routines and often provocative outfits.
And they are employees. They’re hardworking, public-facing employees of America’s largest sports franchise, part of an influential legacy, and facing harassment of the type they’ve claimed—clearly based on perceived access to their bodies because of the kind. work they do – reduces the women to something less valued than an employee, something less hard-working than a professional dancer, something less human than the people they are. To continue working under an executive you recognized as trying to undress you without your knowledge is a challenge few of us could really comprehend, but you can imagine the sheer discomfort and paranoia someone can experience from such a… a workplace would follow.
A source told ESPN the women are “still very upset. They saw it as a violation of their privacy that went unpunished.”