[Viewer discretion advised] Local cheerleaders react to disturbing viral video
A viral video out of Denver of a cheerleader being forced into the splits is upsetting cheerleaders all across the nation. Today, News 25’s Gina Tomlinson spoke with local cheerleaders who say this video is a disgrace to the sport they love. The content we’re about to show you may be disturbing, viewer discretion is advised.
Video of a 13-year-old Denver high school cheerleader crying out in pain while being forced into the splits by her teammates is upsetting cheer officials all over the world. The footage was shocking to Shelia Perry, owner of CheerZone in Saucier, where hundreds of cheerleaders practice here on the Coast. “It’s really tough to see someone that would take action like that so severely against a kid, just for a split.”
Because of the video, the cheer coach and other officials at Denver’s East High School are being investigated by police.
Fifteen-year-old Sophia Vilardi has been in competitive cheer for years. “What I found really distributing is they were holding her arms and her legs in place, like she couldn’t stabilize herself or do anything to help herself.”
Cheer officials say a split isn’t exactly a natural position for your body to be in, but they say the process to get here shouldn’t be like anything that seemed to be going on in the viral video. “Don’t push yourself like that. Don’t hurt yourself,” said Sophia.
A statement was released referring to the actions depicted in the video as contrary to the school’s core values. As the investigation remains ongoing, Perry tells News 25 she hopes the sport that’s supposed to be about teambuilding and leadership doesn’t suffer consequences. “It’s such a fantastic thing for your children to get involved in. it’s kind of tough to see something like that kind of diminish and bring down what we try so hard to bring up.”