There was a story making the rounds last week about a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader who claimed that she didn’t get to go to the Super Bowl last night as part of the official squad because she had put on too much weight. Apparently she wasn’t supposed to weigh more than 121 pounds and she porked all the way up to 124 pounds. I know, what a heifer, right?
According to the article, she has all sorts of excuses as to why she didn’t make weight. Apparently the weight she agreed to be was based on her age when she joined the squad as a teen and now years later it’s hard to meet that weight from when she was younger.
Here’s an undated picture of her which makes this whole dispute, if this is what it’s really about, seem ridiculous:
Either way, if they did leave her home because of her size, it’s completely legal and she has no case except to create some bad PR for the Ravens. But they have a murderer on their team, so they're probably used to it.
There are Federal laws that prevent discrimination in the work place based on age, race, gender, pregnancy, national origin and religion to name a few. In Illinois it’s illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation. But under Federal law and for every State that I’m aware of, it’s completely legal to discriminate against someone based on how heavy they are.
We’ve seen it many times before, most notably with Southwest Airlines when there were complaints that they made obese passengers buy two seats. These cases make great headlines and fodder for late night cable “news” shows, but they are almost always much ado about nothing.
Until there is a law that says you can’t discriminate based on weight, it will happen. It’s no different, legally speaking, than discriminating against people who wear ugly shirts, have bad breath, support the White Sox or like the band Fun. That type of discrimination is completely legal and until the legislature says otherwise, it will continue to be legal.
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