Washington president of business operations Dennis Greene has resigned in the aftermath of a New York Times report detailing a disturbing trip to Costa Rica made by the team’s cheerleaders for a photo shoot, where they were told to serve as escorts for sponsors.
Greene was mentioned only once in the original Times report, as one of two team executives who were present in a Costa Rican nightclub on the team trip. In the club, the cheerleaders were encouraged by a sideline assistant and former cheerleader “to drink and flirt” with a group of male sponsors and suiteholders who had picked them to be escorts.
“The issue was that management seemed to condone all of this,” one unnamed cheerleader was quoted as saying.
The other executive at the club, Lon Rosenberg, was no longer with the team by the time the story came out. Greene had been with the team for 17 years and was in charge of selling suites at the Redskins stadium. According to the Washington Post, Greene struggled to meet his sales targets as the team played poorly, and he began promising his customers a trip with the cheerleaders to convince them to buy premium seats. Those suiteholders, whom Greene accompanied on the 2013 photo-shoot trip, were allowed to gawk at topless cheerleaders and go out with them at night. The cheerleaders say they weren’t paid for their modeling work on the trip.
The Times report makes clear that these abuses of power over the cheerleaders weren’t the acts of just a few pervy executives, but indicative of the larger sexist culture around the Redskins organization. After Dan Snyder purchased the team in 1999, the report notes that he made the cheerleaders’ image “increasingly risqué,” and the team’s website formerly featured a “hot-or-not” game that asked fans to choose between photos of two cheerleaders. But as Snyder pushes for a shiny, brand-new stadium, he now has a clear fall guy to blame for this ugly mess.