Pro-Hockey Team Drops Cheerleaders Amid Concerns Wives Could Get Jealous

A Russian ice hockey club has been met with a fierce backlash after it dropped its cheerleaders as it pursues a family-friendly atmosphere at games, according to reports.

Hockey club AK Bars, located in the city of Kazan, some 500 miles east of the capital Moscow, decided to jettison its cheerleaders, known as the Bars Angels, from this Kontinental Hockey League season amid concerns they could trigger jealousy among some women in the crowd.

Ex-AK Bars cheerleader Rigina Barieva, who left the club before the club's recent decision was made, told Russian TV channel Match TV: "The arguments were that supposedly other people's wives don't react very well to beautiful girls. Therefore, the club decided to abandon the services of the support group altogether."

The decision to drop the popular Bars Angels led the group to challenge the club's decision on social media.

In one post, shared on Saturday, which Newsweek translated via Google, the group included a statement alongside a photo of their performance stage being dismantled, adding: "Yesterday our favorite scene was dismantled.

"It would seem that we are in vain, continue to believe that our return to the arena is possible. However, every day we receive more and more messages, comments and calls with support. Thanks to your care, we continue to hope that the support group Bars Angels will continue to support the team and delight the fans in the sectors. Thank you! We love you."

Fans have since petitioned the owners of AK Bars in the hope that the cheerleaders could make a return to the stadium. The supporters claimed they had heard no one complain about their performances.

Organizers of a petition statement translated via Google, asked for the cheerleaders to be reinstated and added: "AK Bars management, we ask you to return the support group to the matches of the main team.

"We believe this decision is not fair, both in relation to the girls from the support group and in relation to us, towards the fans. The performance of the cheerleader is one of the elements of the entertainment program during the team's matches. We have never heard that someone in the stands complained about their performances, but on the contrary, everyone always liked everything."

As of Sunday morning, the petition had gathered 525 signatures and set a target of 1,000.

According to Match TV, an AK Bars spokesperson said the club was "taking a course in family values and cultural leisure."

AK Bars plays its home games in the Tartarstan region and kicked off its season on Thursday with a 3-0 win over Jokerit.

Cheerleaders stock image
The cheerleaders were dropped from their role at AK Bars. Stock image. IPGGutenbergUKLtd/Getty