Altovise “Alto” Gary, the director of the Houston Texans cheerleading squad, has resigned in the wake of a recent lawsuit that claims the cheerleaders were not paid for all their work and were harassed and body-shamed. A spokesperson for the team, Amy Palcic, confirmed Gary’s resignation, but no further comments have been made.
The longtime coach, who has been named as a defendant in the lawsuit, resigned for personal reasons, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The class action alleges that several cheerleaders were the victims of physical assault by fans in 2017. The women allegedly reported the incidents to Gary, who they believe failed to report the attacks or ensure the cheerleaders’ safety.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that Gary took one cheerleader to a private area of the stadium and duct-taped her stomach skin underneath her shorts. The suit also reads, “Coach Alto walked up to a cheerleader and poked her face asking her if she had gained her ‘freshman 15’ saying she looked like she ‘ate a plate of salt.’”
Kimberly Spurlock, the attorney who filed a second lawsuit against the Houston Texans, which did not include Gary, along with attorney Gloria Allred, said in a statement, “We believe that our lawsuit and the voices of our brave clients have made an important impact on the Houston Texans. As a result of their courage, there appears to be an important change taking place in the staff.”
Former @HoustonTexans cheerleader Kelly says she was treated without dignity or value. Says she wasn’t paid for hours worked. @GloriaAllred represents her and four others for a new suit. @abc13houston pic.twitter.com/4xoUcfNZuZ
— Shelley Childers (@shelleyabc13) June 1, 2018
Both lawsuits have been dismissed, and the cheerleaders’ complaints will be submitted to arbitration, as per their contracts with the team.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- ‘I shouldn’t have worn the green shirt’: Mom finds out that schools use greenscreens for class photos after it’s too late
- Haylie Duff’s newborn daughter has a ‘witching hour’ — what causes it?
- Girl gets removed from Catholic middle school for hairstyle: ‘This decision is going to affect black children more than white children’