The San Antonio Spurs have reportedly disbanded their all-female dance team and will replace it next season with a 35-member “family-friendly” coed hype team.
The hype team “will elevate the game day experience and energize crowds with a diverse array of unique family-friendly talents, including tumbling, acrobatics, dance and stunts,” according to a Spurs news release from Friday. The Spurs will be the first NBA team to disband their dance squad.
Spurs dancers reportedly disbanded over a “lack of fan interest”
ESPN reported that the Spurs told members of the Silver Dancers that they were being disbanded due to a lack of fan interest. The Silver Dancers have been active since 1992.
The news comes as a surprise to current and former members of the dance team, many of whom are publicly upset about the decision.
“This program has been in existence for 26 years,” Silver Dancers founder Rosalyn Jones and former team choreographer told the Washington Post. “Why now? I don’t understand the explanation that there was a lack of interest. If that was the case, shouldn’t they have conveyed that to the choreographer and brought those concerns to her at some point? Give her a chance to address it. But there were never any complaints.”
Spurs dancers upset about the news
Some of the dancers reacted to the news on Twitter.
Team member Alexis Flores said that she was in shock and shared a link to a Change.org petition urging for the reinstatement of the Silver Dancers.
The Silver Dancers Twitter page and Instagram accounts have been taken down, and there is no mention of the Silver Dancers on the Spurs’ web site, the Post reports.
The decision come in the midst of multiple reports of trouble involving NFL cheerleader teams.
The New York Times reported that Washington Redskins sponsors and suite holders were allowed to watch a topless photo shoot of cheerleaders during a trip to Costa Rica and that cheerleaders were expected to act as escorts during an outing at a nightclub.
Two former NFL cheerleaders have sued the league over complaints of sexual harassment and low pay.
No reported trouble around Silver Dancers
There are no reports of any such trouble with the Silver Dancers. Jones told the Post that the dance team was a welcome member of the San Antonio community.
“This is a very conservative market, and the team has always been very concerned about the look of the girls and things like that,” Jones said. “But I’m telling you I’ve never seen and never heard anything derogatory. The girls are all professional women, they know the rules and standards and they know they’re ambassadors for the Spurs. And they’ve done so much in the community — camps, clinics, promotional activities. To take this away so suddenly, it’s bothersome.”
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