Baltimore Ravens Veteran Left Off Super Bowl Roster
Ravens cheerleader Courtney Lenz, 23, of Baltimore, Md., is a five-year veteran of the cheer squad, but she did not receive an invitation to attend the biggest game of her career. Lenz found out that she was not invited shortly after she announced her planned retirement at the Ravens' last home game against the Colts. Sympathetic Ravens fans have launched an online petition to push the Ravens to let Lenz cheer at the Super Bowl. As of 3pm ET the petition over 11,250 signatures.
"I wouldn't even have reached out and let fans know if I didn't think it was clearly wrong," said Lenz. "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."
Lenz began cheering for the Ravens when she was a freshman in college at 18. After she finished school and found a full time marketing job, she found it difficult to continue to fit cheering into her schedule and announced her retirement earlier this month.
"They've been really hard on me this year since I told them I was leaving," Lenz said. She received an email last week with the names of the 32 cheerleaders who would join the team in New Orleans. "I was the only three-plus year veteran that [is] not going. I immediately thought it was a mistake."
Apparently Lenz has gained a few pounds throughout the season and the Ravens say they had to choose a select number of the 60-member squad to cheer at the Super Bowl, and Lenz did not make the cut.
"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.
"Originally I would have loved to go to the Super Bowl, but at this point it looks like it's not going to happen," she said. "I received an email on Sunday saying I need to turn in my uniform. I can't say I didn't expect it, but at the same time, they owe that to me."
Hey Ray Lewis. Pay attention to someone else for a moment and get this girl to NOLA...
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