Buffalo Jills suspend operations in wake of lawsuit

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In response to a lawsuit from five former members of the Buffalo Jills, the Jills have done what any wrongfully accused organization would do in a situation like this.

They’ve gone out of business.

Not permanently.  But until further notices.  That’s the reaction, according to the Buffalo News, from Stejon Productions Corp, which manages the group.

The move comes not long after 35 members were selected for the newest installment of the Bills’ cheerleading squad.  Stephanie Mateczun, the president of Stejon Productions Corp., told the Buffalo News that the move happened in response to the lawsuit.

But Mateczun said nothing more; she’ll be making a statement “when the time is right.”

“I‘d like nothing more than to state our side of the story, but it would be inappropriate to do so while in litigation,” she said.

That’s a cop out.  She’ll be stating her case in the context of the litigation, sooner rather than later.  There’s no reason to refrain from launching a pre-emptive public defense, especially in light of the P.R. fallout from the strong allegations contained in the lawsuit.

In situations like this, the court of public opinion will issue a verdict quickly.  When a lawsuit alleging inappropriate business practices is met both with silence and a suspension of operations, the court of public opinion inevitably will deem the employer to be guilty as charged.

Meanwhile, the five women who sued will potentially be chastised and harassed by one or more of the 35 new members, who will blame not those who set up potentially illegal business practices but those who blew the whistle for the collapse of their ability to be NFL cheerleaders.

20 responses to “Buffalo Jills suspend operations in wake of lawsuit

  1. They have a couple of big things their going to expose regarding this situation which will get all the eyes on them. It’s going to more than a tit for tat type of situation.

  2. I’m torn. Surely a massive money maker like an NFL team should be able to pay for the performers in their little show. Those tickets ain’t cheap, and they’re making plenty of TV money.

    But if people want to objectify themselves for free…

  3. Still don’t understand why teams can’t pay these ladies a reasonable working wage. If their work isn’t worth minimum wage, just get rid of the squad.

  4. Tip of the iceberg. We’ve seen other stories of other teams’ cheerleaders that apparently have a hard time just covering their expenses, let alone making money from this gig. The Jills are just the first group that decided to go the scorched earth route and shut down.

  5. Any of these women only had to do one thing to get away from the awful abuse and terrible conditions- quit. They knew the pay going in.

    Instead, they stayed in the terrible situation, and then sued afterwards. Does this make any sense? Would you?

    I think they signed up because they wanted to be seen, then got sold on this nonsense by a trial lawyer who told them they could have a payoff (after paying his expenses first, of course).

    In Minnesota, for years the cheerleaders were high school girls from a local suburb who wanted to go to the game and be on the sidelines, mingle, maybe meet players.

    Sorry, I don’t waste empathy on adults who make decisions and then try to cash in later. You got a problem, bring it up as soon as you learn of it.

  6. As long as they are suing Stejon Productions (whoever that is) then this probably isn’t a big deal. But, if they ever name the league or a team in one of these lawsuits, there will be no more cheerleaders in the NFL.

    The main thing they do is put out a calendar each year, and teams could find another way to do that without exposure to liability.

  7. It’s bad enough we’ve had 5 years of high unemployment. Let’s not grossly under-pay people, too. Networks like to show cheerleaders during games, and the networks pay a fortune for the privilege. Teams can easily use a small part of that to pay the ladies.

  8. The Jills are unique, as the Bills do not actually own or run them. The Bills have a contract with Stejon Productions, who run the Jills. So, the Bills will never be sued as a result of this.

  9. I’d be very curious to know how much the Bills were paying this Stejon Productions. Because if it was a relatively small sum the Bills certainly could have figured out the cheerleaders weren’t being paid much of anything. Sounds like a smart corporate play to hire a sub to reduce legal exposure.

  10. The Jills were sponsored by a local radio station for years then these Stejon clowns show up and bam! there’s a lawsuit against them. I have to wonder if the lawsuit isn’t justified because there never were any complaints when the radio station was in charge.

  11. They each should have signed lucrative contacts with the team, then fake some injuries and still get paid. That’s what everybody else does to the Bills.

  12. I don’t think these girls go into this for the money. Seems more do it for the attention and perceived “celebrity” status. The game is about football not shake and bake with painted smiles.

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