Jills director says Bills had influence over cheerleadering squad

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – The director of the Buffalo Jills is speaking out about a lawsuit filed by five former cheerleaders that claims their management company, Stejon Production Corporation, and the Buffalo Bills failed to pay them proper wages and subjected them to humiliating situations, including a so-called “jiggle test.”

“It has also been incredibly disappointing to see the complete lack of accountability on the part of the Buffalo Bills organization as it relates to this complaint,” said Mateczun.

Director Stephanie Mateczun made the decision to suspend Jills activities last month, days after the lawsuit was failed, and Wednesday released a statement regarding the move.

She said, “It was only after serious and thoughtful consideration, consultation with my attorneys, and with the best interests of the women who are members of the squad in mind, that the decision was made to suspend all activities for the Jills until this legal matter can be resolved.”

Mateczun’s attorney Dennis C. Vacco claims the Bills offered to pay the Jills to participate in draft day events and supplement their pay for the 2014 NFL season, but withdrew the commitment to fund the squad after the lawsuit was filed. Vacco says the Jills activities are suspended until the pending lawsuit filed by former cheerleaders is resolved.

In a statement, Vacco said, “While much has been said about how the Jills were compensated, there was an extensive list of benefits given to the members of the squad that included free surgical procedures, free gym memberships, free tanning memberships, and free tickets and parking to all Buffalo Bills home games.”

Mateczun said people are waging attacks against her and her company because they are drawing conclusions without having all the facts.

“The Buffalo Bills own the trademark for the Jills; they control the field and everything that happens on that field, from the uniforms the cheerleaders wear to the dances they perform. Yet the organization appears content to attempt to wash their hands of any connection to their own cheerleading squad. The Buffalo Bills management operates a football team valued by some at nearly $900 million. If people believe they don’t maintain influence and control over every part of their operation, including their cheerleaders, they are mistaken,” said Mateczun in a statement.

The Buffalo Bills released their own statement regarding the lawsuit Wednesday, saying, “We are confident in our position in this matter and look forward to presenting our defense to any allegations as part of the legal process.”

Vacco believes this could turn into a class action lawsuit and told News 4 the NFL will likely begin standardizing its policy regarding cheerleaders.

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