Controversy has spread since Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Courtney Lenz was denied the opportunity to join her team at the Super Bowl this Sunday because she had "a rough year." The alleged implication is that she got too fat. Fans everywhere have petitioned to get Courtney to join her fellow cheerleaders at the biggest sporting event of the year.
Here's what you need to know about Courtney and her fight to take the field.
1. Courtney Was Ready to Retire after the Super Bowl
Courtney Lenz had been with the Baltimore Ravens as a cheerleader since she was 18. After five years on the squad, she finally got her bachelor's degree in marketing and landed a full-time job. Before all the scrutiny made against her, Courtney informed the team that she was ready to retire at the end of the season to pursue her career in marketing. ABC News reported that Courtney accused the Ravens of not allowing her to cheer because of her announcement to retire.
2. Courtney Has More Experience Than Any Cheerleader on the Squad
Courtney joined the Ravens cheerleading squad when she was only 18 while she was a freshman attending college. She spent the next five years on the team cheering on the Baltimore Ravens in their playoffs and regular season games. She appeared in at least three team calenders and made some appearances in various events. She was considered the most senior out of the group.
3. Courtney Was a Marketing Major in College
While working as a cheerleader, Courtney Lenz was studying marketing at the Towson University in Baltimore. After completing four years, she received her Bachelor's Degree and found an opportunity to work as a sales and marketing coordinator. Once she retires from cheerleading, Courtney plans to focus on her new job.
4. The Baltimore Squad Dropped Courtney Twice This Season Because of Weight Gain
This season, the 23-year-old cheerleader was dropped from two games in October and November because of her weight gain of 1.6 pounds. The Ravens staff told Courtney to consult with a nutritionist and receive counseling to control her weight gain. She told Access Hollywood that she weighed 125 pounds, which was a bit more than the maximum of 120 pounds: "I was told I was being benched because I had gained weight and when I asked how much it was, the scales showed 1.6 pounds."
She said that she wouldn't change her body and health because she wants to have a positive influence on other women.
5. Courtney Received an Email Saying She Didn't Make the Cut
Only 32 out of 60 women were going to be chosen by the squad to cheer at the Super Bowl, and Courtney didn't make the cut. Courtney got an email last Wednesday telling her that she didn't make the final roster for the Super Bowl this year at New Orleans. Courtney said she was devastated because the squad thought she had "a rough year and faced disciplinary action." She then got another email stating that she had to return her cheerleading uniform.
6. Thousands of Fans Petitioned to Get Courtney Back in the Game
After news broke about Courtney's rejection, fans rallied behind her and started a Facebook page to convince the cheer squad to change their minds. Almost 23,000 users signed the petition and received over 5,000 likes. Fans have found the decision ridiculous and have been urging the team to let Courtney finish her cheerleading career on a high note.
7. Courtney's Family Has a History with Dance
Courtney had no dance experience prior to the joining the Ravens' squad. However, some of her natural dancing talents come from her family. Her profile page stated that her grandmother, Consetta Caruccio Lenz, was a dancer for the 1936 USA Olympic gymnastics team.
8. Her Mother and Boyfriend Have Been Supportive
Courtney's mother and boyfriend have been supportive of her work as a cheerleader. She met her boyfriend at work, where he cheered for the Washington Redskins. The Daily Mail reported that her boyfriend "was a Redskins fan when we met but I converted him to the Ravens." After news broke of her being benched, she said that her boyfriend told her she "should forget about the Ravens and support the Redskins!" He always knows what to say.
9. Courtney is a Big Fan of House Music
On her profile page on the Ravens' official site, Courtney Lenz seems to live for House music. She states that her favorite band is the DJ trio Swedish House Mafia along with their track 'Save the World' as her favorite track. Other DJs that she favors are Tiesto and Avicii.
10. Ed Reed is Courtney's Favorite Ravens Player
Also on her bio page, we can't help but notice that she wrote that her favorite Baltimore Ravens player is Ed Reed. Despite rumors that Ed was going to retire, he claims that he will be playing for another year. At least Courtney will still be cheering on her favorite player after leaving the cheer squad.