‘No longer appropriate’: German basketball club axes award-winning cheerleaders for new season
Basketball Bundesliga club Alba Berlin decided to axe the cheerleading team with the explanation that “is no longer appropriate to our time.”
“We have come to the conclusion that the appearance of young women as attractive break fillers at sporting events is no longer appropriate to our time,” Alba Berlin said in a statement.
Wir gehen mit einer großen Änderung des Rahmenprogramms in die Saison: Zukünftig werden bei den Heimspielen keine Cheerleader mehr auftreten. Alle Infos: https://t.co/E4q3KjHsz2pic.twitter.com/XPLILgfAOv— ALBA BERLIN (@albaberlin) September 26, 2019
“At our home games the impression was created that Alba female dancers were primarily responsible for the break entertainment while the men played basketball," the club said, adding that in reality they promote different values inspiring girls to become basketball players.
In a lengthy social media post, Alba Berlin thanked the cheerleaders for their “great job over the past 25 years” when they tirelessly worked for the club, winning several awards as the best dance team in Europe.
It is the latest announcement in the so-called “anti-cheerleading” campaign that has swept many sports, including Formula One, cycling, boxing and MMA.
Persistent demands from feminists groups to stop using cheerleaders at sporting events – which they claim is sexually exploiting women – has led to calls for bans in several sports.
At the beginning of September, rings girls were replaced by men at an Aussie boxing event after coming under fire from local activists and women’s advocacy groups.
The UFC was also urged to axe its bikini-clad octagon girls ahead of UFC 243 in Australia after local politicians criticized the tradition as sexist.