There hasn’t been a lot to cheer about lately for fans of the hit Netflix docuseries Cheer. The show has been embroiled in controversy ever since Jerry Harris was arrested by the FBI in September 2020 and charged with numerous federal crimes including producing child pornography. Last year Harris was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison, after pleading guilty to two charges for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in the bathroom during a cheer competition, and paying a 17-year-old boy to send him sexually explicit photos and videos. He was also permanently banned by USA Cheer and the U.S. All Star Federation (USASF), the two major governing bodies for cheerleading. Now, Harris’ friend and co-star from Cheer, La’Darius Marshall, is being suspended by USA Cheer and USASF, and is listed as temporarily ineligible.
Details about what led to the suspension are sparse, according to a report in USA Today. All that’s been announced is that the penalty is related to a potential violation of the sport’s athlete protection policies. As for what those protections include, the USA Today article says they “cover a range of issues including emotional, physical and sexual misconduct.”
Lauri Harris, the executive director of USA Cheer, added that USASF is the governing body in this instance that has “investigative jurisdiction and placed the individual in question on the temporary ineligible list.”
Netflix’s Cheer, which centered on the Texas’ Navarro College cheerleading team, was a breakout hit and starred Marshall in seasons 1 and 2.
But the arrest of Jerry Harris and now the suspension of La’Darius Marshall have cast a dark shadow over a show that was extremely popular when it first premiered.
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