Courtney Lenz‘s retirement from the Baltimore Ravens isn’t going as well as Ray Lewis‘ decision to walk away from the team come season’s end.
Lenz, you see, is a cheerleader. At just 23 years of age, she has already announced her “retirement” from the Ravens’ cheerleading squad. However, she expected to join the team in New Orleans for the Super Bowl. Much to Lenz’s dismay, however, she was left off the roster.
According to ESPN.com, she retired at the end of the regular season. She still thinks, however, that she should be able to go with the team to the Super Bowl, which will be played Sunday. The team, though, had other plans. They could only bring 32 cheerleaders to the Super Bowl, and they left Lenz off the list.
“They’ve been really hard on me this year since I told them I was leaving,” Lenz told ABCNews.com. “I was the only three-plus year veteran that [is] not going. I immediately thought it was a mistake.”
She says there might be another reason why she’s not going. Lenz told Access Hollywood on Wednesday that she was barred from the big game because of weight gains.
“They said I had quote, unquote, a rough year,” she said, according to ChicagoTribune.com. “I’d been benched earlier in the season for a little bit of 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.”
According to Lenz, there were some inconsistencies in the whole thing, too.
“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.”
The Ravens released a statement regarding the matter.
“As set by the NFL, we are permitted to bring 32 cheerleaders to the Super Bowl,” it read, according to ESPN.com. “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.”
A Facebook page titled “Help us get Courtney to Superbowl” has been set up, and it had nearly 7,000 likes as of Friday afternoon.
Thumbnail photo via Facebook/Help us get Courtney to Superbowl
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Marshall Seguin (@marshallseguin) February 01, 2013