One Baltimore Ravens cheerleader is speaking out after reportedly being banned from performing at the Super Bowl due to a weight gain of less than two pounds.
Courtney Lenz, 23-year-old Ravens cheerleader who served on the squad for five years, recently spoke to "Access Hollywood" about the reason she would not be joining in on the festivities where the Ravens will face off against the San Francisco 49ers.
"They said that I had quote, unquote, a rough year. 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," Lenz revealed. "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."
While Lenz said she weighs 124 pounds, the cheerleader said she was pressured to slim down to a weight that she held during her teenage years.
"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," Lenz told "Access Hollywood." "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."
According to Lenz, the alleged unfair actions of the Ravens organization deserved attention from fans.
"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," Lenz said. "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."
The Ravens organization offered their response to Lenz' claims, in a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
"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," the Ravens said. "As much as we would like to take the whole team, we are unable to do so, due to parameters set by the NFL."