Baltimore Ravens Bench Cheerleader Courtney Lenz for Super Bowl, Suspended Her Once for Gaining Two Pounds

| by Michael Allen

Baltimore Ravens fans are outraged that the team is leaving behind veteran cheerleader Courtney Lenz when it heads to New Orleans for this year's Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers.

Lenz is the only cheerleader with more than three years of experience with the Ravens who will not be making the trip, reports

Lenz claims she's been banned from the trip because of her plans to retire after this season.

Lenz told "I wouldn't even have reached out and let fans know if I didn't think it was clearly wrong. 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."

In response, fans have launched a petition and a Facebook page (pictured below) to get the Ravens to reverse their decision. The petition has 1,300 signatures and the Facebook page has been 'liked' by nearly 2,200 users.

This isn't the first time the Ravens have played hard ball. Lenz was reportedly benched for a two-pound weight gain during a game in 2012.

After she finished school, Lenz found a full time marketing job, which is the reason why she has chosen to retire after this season: "They've been really hard on me this year since I told them I was leaving. I was the only three-plus year veteran that [is] not going. I immediately thought it was a mistake."

Ravens spokeswoman Heather Harness said in a statement to "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."

However, Harness did not address why Lenz, specifically, had not been included in the Super Bowl trip.