A former cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins suffered religious persecution and discrimination from her teammates and from her team’s cheerleader director after she admitted she was a Christian and a virgin.
That she suffered persecution for her faith isn’t surprising in light of the promise contained in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
It’s the form the persecution took that’s troubling.
Let me explain…
Ware’s mistreatment actually began in 2015 when the Dolphins were in London to play the New York jets at Wembley Stadium…
On a bus ride, the cheerleaders were discussing their “sex playlist” – the songs they like to listen to while they’re having sex.
They asked Kristan to share her list of songs…
Instead, she said she was waiting until she was married to have sex … because of her personal relationship with God. She further added that waiting for marriage was her personal conviction.
She never attempted to share the gospel with anyone … she never asked the other cheerleaders if they believed in Jesus … she only talked about her faith if she was asked about it directly.
But when she arrived for her interview for returning cheerleaders in April 2016, the Dolphins cheerleader director said, “Let’s talk about your virginity.”
Things went downhill from there:
- Kristan was reprimanded for posting an image of her baptism along with a Bible verse on social media.
- She was asked to change into a bikini during her interview … and was photographed to make sure she was ‘calendar ready.’
- She was told not to mention God – or her virginity – on social media.
- In her “Motivation Monday” story for the Dolphins’ blog, her references to God and Christ were edited out.
- She was falsely accused of “groping a fan’s breast and butt at an appearance.”
Despite this unfairness, Ware stayed with the team for one more season…
But in June 2017, she made the difficult decision to give up her dream and quit the team after 3 seasons.
In announcing her departure on Instagram, she said, “For me, this decision was first and foremost about being obedient to God, living faith to faith and having the courage to always stay true.”
After almost a year, Ware decided in April to speak out and tell her story … in hopes of encouraging other mistreated NFL cheerleaders to do the same.
She filed a hostile workplace complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations … seeking arbitration … and a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.”
(1 Peter 2:19-20)
Watch this emotional 6 ½ -minute testimony by Kristan Ann Ware on the mistreatment of NFL cheerleaders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAf3KuDAwX4
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