Colts cheerleader files suit over firing
INDIANAPOLIS - A former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader says her civil rights were violated when the team fired her.
Malori Wampler was fired after the team saw some photos of her they didn't like. Wampler's lawsuit claims the Colts discriminated against her because she was a woman and Indonesian.
"For me, it's standing up for myself," Wampler said.
Wampler says that's at the heart of her lawsuit against the same football team she's been a fan of all her life.
"Especially being a true Colts fan all my life and then getting to cheer for them, it's amazing," Wampler said.
But her days as a Colts cheerleader were cut short last November.
"Cheered Sunday, November 14. November 15, [Wampler was] called in and terminated. Abruptly terminated for something that happened prior to her being hired," said Wampler's attorney, Kim Jeselskis.
That something is photos of Wampler wearing body paint and nothing else. The pictures were taken at a party thrown by Playboy.
Her attorney says her client never posed for the magazine, but attended some of their golf outings and took pictures with guests.
"Some of them made it on the website," Jeselskis said.
When the Colts saw them, Wampler was fired. It's ironic, her attorney says, given what her client wore in front of thousands as a Colts cheerleader.
"They're not out there in jumpsuits," Jeselskis said.
Not to mention the swimsuit calendar the squad poses for every year.
"Miss Wampler was fired for body paint that was, in our opinion, not as revealing as the swimsuit she posed for in the swimsuit calendar," Jeselskis said.
The complaint also points to Colts players still on the team, even after various allegations leveled against them and some even arrested.
"It kind of represents the double standard in the workplace," Jeselskis said.
And there's another part of the lawsuit.
"Pictures of a Caucasian cheerleader were found on a website of a photographer," Jeselskis said. "The cheerleader's wearing black lace underwear, garter belts, bra. She was posed in a bed, there was one picture of her laying in bed with a man."
That cheerleader, according to the attorney, is still on the squad.
"It looks as if the Caucasian cheerleader was treated better. The rule was not applied the same way," Jeselskis said.
Being a fan now is different, too.
"Now it's just a little hard, because you feel like they don't quite respect you the way that they should," Wampler said.
Speaking for the team, Colts attorney Dan Emerson said Wampler's "claim or claims have no merit whatsoever" and "it's a very sad situation that it's gone as far as it has."
Wampler and her attorney have requested a jury trial.