2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Buffalo Bills cheerleaders suspend operations

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2014-04-24 21:47

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Pack up the pom-poms in Buffalo, because the Bills will be playing without the support of their official cheerleaders this year.

Stephanie Mateczun, whose company manages the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad, said Thursday she has suspended operations through at least the end of the season. The decision was made two days after five former Jills filed a lawsuit complaining they worked hundreds of hours for free, and were subjected to groping and sexual comments.

The civil action was filed in state Supreme Court and seeks unspecified back pay and legal fees. It names Mateczun's company, Stejon Productions Corp., the Bills, and the Jills' former manager, Citadel Communications Co., as defendants. Stejon took over managing the cheerleaders in 2011.

Mateczun is in the process of hiring legal representation, and declined further comment.

The Bills have been made aware of the Jills' decision to suspend operations, but otherwise declined comment.

Lawyer Frank Dolce, who represents the five cheerleaders, said the decision to suspend operations won't affect his case because it addresses past complaints.

Dolce, however, did question Mateczun's motives, saying her decision to suspend the squad was unnecessary.

''If they cease operations, they will blame the lawsuit for the destruction of the Jills, when that was not intended at all,'' Dolce said, noting there is not much money at stake in the lawsuit.

''We love the Bills. We love the Jills,'' he said. ''We do not love the travesty of its management that has occurred over the last few years.''

According to the Buffalo Jills Alumni website, the squad was formed in 1967, eight years after the Bills were established as founding members of the American Football League. In 1986, the Bills relinquished managing the cheerleaders to private companies.

Cheerleaders have launched similar suits against the Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals.

The case against the Bills claims the Jills are wrongly classified as independent contractors and subjected to policies that violate the state's $8 per hour minimum wage law and other workplace rules.

The Jills aren't paid for games or practices and have to make 20-35 appearances, most of which are unpaid, at community and charity events each season, the lawsuit said. On top of that, they have to pay $650 for their uniforms and are not reimbursed for travel or other expenses, the cheerleaders said.

All five cheerleaders said they had to take a ''jiggle test'' so that Mateczun, Stejon's president, could assess their physiques. And Mateczun, they said, controlled everything from their hair and nail polish color to what they could post on Facebook.

The time and expense, as well as rules governing their personal lives, far exceeded what they signed on for, the women said.

Dolce and his clients hope their legal action leads to policy changes within the Bills' organization that ensure future cheerleaders are paid and treated better.

''A decision to disband the Jills as an entity is a tremendous mistake for community spirit,'' Dolce said. ''We do not feel bad that Stejon Productions has ceased operations. We think that's a good thing. We just hope the Bills don't trivialize the Jills because of the poor management of them.''

---

Associated Press writer Carolyn Thompson contributed to this report.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Teddy BridgewaterSep 29 09:47p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) did not participate in practice Monday, Sept. 29. QB Christian Ponder worked with the first-team offense during practice.

Geno SmithSep 29 09:47p

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan publicly remained supportive of QB Geno Smith Monday, Sept. 29. He said he talked to the quarterback about his incident with yelling [ More ]

Donald BrownSep 29 09:23p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown and RB Branden Oliver combined for 42 yards on 29 carries in Week 4, and although head coach Mike McCoy bashed the running [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (toe) is not injured, head coach Chip Kelly said Monday, Sept. 29. 'He's not on the treatment list,' Kelly said. [ More ]

Vernon DavisSep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (back) had a 'positive mindset' Monday, Sept. 29, but general manager Trent Baalke said the extent of his injury is 'not fully known.'

Stevan RidleySep 29 09:13p

New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley was on the field for just one of his team's seven offensive snaps in the first quarter Monday, Sept. 29, in the Week [ More ]

Roddy WhiteSep 29 09:03p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White said he expects the team to be involved in high-scoring shootouts all year, and head coach Mike Smith agreed to an extent. 'I don't [ More ]

David NelsonSep 29 08:13p

New York Jets WR David Nelson (ankle) suffered an ankle injury in Week 4, and the signing of WR Chris Owusu could be an indication Nelson's injury is significant. [ More ]

Frank AlexanderSep 29 08:03p

The Carolina Panthers reinstated DE Frank Alexander Monday, Sept. 29, after he served his four-game suspension. He won't count toward the 53-man roster limit for one week.

Patrick ChungSep 29 07:53p

New England Patriots SS Patrick Chung and RB James White were back taking kickoffs in pregame warm-ups Monday, Sept. 29, before the Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jarrett BoykinSep 29 07:23p

Green Bay Packers LB Sam Barrington (hamstring), DT Josh Boyd (knee) and WR Jarrett Boykin (groin) did not practice Monday, Sept. 29. LBs Brad Jones (quadriceps) and Clay Matthews [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonSep 29 07:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle) was limited in practice Monday, Sept. 29.

Chad GreenwaySep 29 07:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway (hand, rib) and CB Captain Munnerlyn (illness) did not practice Monday, Sept. 29. CB Josh Robinson (hamstring) was limited, while FB Jerome Felton (knee), [ More ]

Aaron MurraySep 29 07:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, WR Albert Wilson, DL Damion Square, RB De'Anthony Thomas, SS Eric Berry, RB Joe McKnight, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 4.

Aaron DobsonSep 29 07:13p

The New England Patriots have declared WR Aaron Dobson, CB Alfonzo Dennard, DL Casey Walker, OT Jordan Devey, OL Josh Kline, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, DE Zach Moore inactive for Week 4.

Chris OgbonnayaSep 29 07:03p

The Carolina Panthers will sign free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Browns).

Tharold SimonSep 29 06:53p

Seattle Seahawks CB Tharold Simon (knee) is making progress in his recovery from knee surgery and is a few weeks away from returning, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Luke WillsonSep 29 06:53p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson is expected to take over as the starting tight end while TE Zach Miller (ankle) is out.

Ray RiceSep 29 06:53p

Free-agent RB Ray Rice's (Ravens) appeal of his suspension will be heard by a neutral arbitrator after the NFL agreed to the change. The NFL and NFL Players Association [ More ]

Ropati PitoituaSep 29 06:43p

Tennessee Titans DE Ropati Pitoitua (knee) hopes to play in Week 5 after missing Week 4 because of a lateral collateral ligament sprain.

Bruce CarterSep 29 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (quadriceps) is considered day-to-day because of the quadriceps injury he suffered in Week 4.

Nick FolesSep 29 06:13p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles did not complete any of his 10 passes that traveled at least 20 yards down the field in Week 4, and two of those [ More ]

Chris ProsinskiSep 29 06:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Chris Prosinski and Washington Redskins LB Gabe Miller and DT Robert Thomas cleared waivers and became free agents Monday, Sept. 29.

Tauren PooleSep 29 06:03p

Carolina Panthers RB Tauren Poole was placed on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 29.

LeSean McCoySep 29 05:53p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy is not dealing with any injuries at this time, according to head coach Chip Kelly. McCoy rushed for only 17 yards on 10 carries in Week 4.

Josh NormanSep 29 05:23p

Carolina Panthers CB Melvin White has been benched in favor of CB Josh Norman.

Dee MillinerSep 29 05:23p

New York Jets CB Dee Milliner (quadriceps) could return this week, according to head coach Rex Ryan, who said he's confident Milliner will be able to play Week 5.

Jarius WrightSep 29 05:13p

Minnesota Vikings WR Jarius Wright said he created a solid chemistry with QB Teddy Bridgewater during the preseason, which is why he caught eight passes for 132 yards in [ More ]

Tommy BohanonSep 29 05:03p

New York Jets FB Tommy Bohanon (collarbone) has a fractured collarbone, according to head coach Rex Ryan.

Winston GuySep 29 05:03p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released SS Winston Guy Monday, Sept. 29.

Zach MillerSep 29 05:03p

Updating previous reports, Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) is only expected to miss two games after he underwent ankle surgery last week.

Marques ColstonSep 29 04:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston has struggled quite a bit during the first month of the season and seems to disappear at times. He had a late-game fumble [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group