Twitter and Facebook users called out the squad, saying the poster encourages body shaming and prioritizes appearance over ability with “body do’s” like being “physically fit” with an “athletic physique.” They also ask that potential cheerleaders wear just a sports bra and mid-rise black shorts, while telling them not to wear any tops “that cover the midriff” or high-waisted shorts.
In a statement, the University of Washington athletic department said they instructed the squad to take down the poster after realizing that it could be seen as offensive.
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“In response to a high volume of student questions about cheer and dance team tryouts, a member of the UW spirit leadership team created a graphic aimed at providing interested students information in preparation for the tryouts,” they tell PEOPLE. “The graphic was removed immediately, after a UW athletic department official saw it and determined that some of the details and descriptions provided were inconsistent with the values of the UW spirit program and department of athletics.”
“Athletic department officials have reinforced the values of the programs to UW spirit leadership, and look forward to an equitable and diverse tryout process for interested students.”
University of Washington is not the first school to post their “do’s and don’ts” for potential cheerleaders. Both Louisiana State University and Washington State University had their own versions, posted before the University of Washington’s, on their Facebook page, as of yesterday. Louisiana State has since removed theirs.