As Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens rev up to take on the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans this Super Bowl weekend, there is one lone team member who won’t be packing her bags for the trip.
Ravens fans are outraged that the team is leaving behind Courtney Lenz, 23, of Baltimore Md, according to a Jan. 30 Daily Mail report. Lenz has more than three years of experience with the team but will not be cheering on her team in New Orleans this weekend. Lenz, who is a five year cheerleading veteran says she’s been treated unfairly because she announced her plans to retire after this season.
“I wouldn’t even have reached out and let fans know if I didn’t think it was clearly wrong,” Lenz told ABCNews.com. “I’m just devastated by the whole situation. This was very unexpected… I didn’t even think there would be a chance of me not going with being a five-year veteran.”
A week ago, the cheerleader wrote on her Facebook page: “I’m still in shock!!! I can’t believe I’m headed to New Orleans in two weeks!!! Couldn’t be happier to be part of such an amazing team :) What an amazing way to end my cheerleading career!!! GO RAVENS ALL THE WAY BABY!!!!!”
Fans have taken matters into their own hands and have launched an online petition to push the Ravens to allow Lenz to end her career on a high note. The petition has gathered more than over 17,000 signatures and the Facebook page has been ‘liked’ by over 3500 users.
Lenz was a freshman in college when she began cheering for the Ravens. After she finished school, she found a full time marketing job that does not fit into her cheerleading schedule, which is the reason why she is retiring.
“They’ve been really hard on me this year since I told them I was leaving,” Lenz said. She added that after she received an email last week with the names of the 32 cheerleaders who would join the team in New Orleans, she realized that she was “the only three-plus year veteran” not going and immediately thought it was a mistake.
The Ravens denied that her decision to retire had anything to do with their decision not to bring her to the Super Bowl. “As set by the NFL, we are permitted to bring 32 cheerleaders to the Super Bowl. Our selection process was based upon three criteria: seniority, performance ability and personal conduct throughout the season. As much as we would like to take the whole team, we are unable to do so, due to parameters set by the NFL,”spokeswoman Heather Harness, said in a statement to ABCNews.com.
In addition to the petition and Facebook page mentioned earlier, fans are voicing their complaints. “I’m so angry what they did to her my heart just isn’t into [the Super Bowl game] as much as it was before,” 52-year-old Debbie Kammerer of Pasadena, Md., said. “Sorry but that’s the truth, the Ravens cheerleading organization has left a bad taste in all our mouths!”
Another astute fan, Stephen Nutter observed, “That’s crazy to reward loyalty with a cold shoulder! That is like us going to the Superbowl and not bringing Ray Lewis along!!!”
If you enjoyed this article, please spread the love. Like it, share it with Facebook friends or tweet it. Want more? Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and stay tuned to the Celebrity Headlines Examiner.
For inquiries, contact MiMi at firstname.lastname@example.org.