You just can't knock them Cheerleaders, can you? Admittedly, they're a much bigger phenomenon on the other side of the pond than they are here, though you will find them prancing and bouncing around University playing fields and the like. With their small skirts, big smiles and big pom-poms, they never fail to raise a smile (...and more besides). No, a sporting occasion just doesn't seem complete without them.
Outwardly standing for fair play and good sportsmanship, you can be sure they'll make national, if not international headlines should they become involved in any off-the-pitch shenanigans. And, true to form... they've done just that.
This page is by no means exhaustive... there's a big-big internet out there and, thanks to a good search engine, you'll have hours, if not days of fun finding out all about what they've been up to.
Well, this page is dedicated to the off-the-field high-jinks of two such cheerleaders, which, by all accounts is worthy of mention, even though the evens that'll be detailed here took place in 2005. So, gather around, boys and girls, and hear about our two protagonists... Miss Victoria Renee Thomas and Miss Angela Ellen Keathley. That's them, above, showing a lot of teeth and cleavage. That's them to the left, too, not looking too happy, for reasons you'll soon learn.
To fill in a bit of background, Renee, then 20 and Angela, then 26 were Top Cats, that is to say, members of the Carolina Panthers Cheerleading squad. Quite an achievement, to be a part of a national Football Clubs professional entourage, no? Yes, I would think so too. If either of these girls had been my daughter, I would have been justifiably proud. Well, let's see what the club website tells... sorry, told us about them. After our two heroines became worldwide celebrities, their profiles swiftly disappeared.
Renee (the blonde one): was (is?) a student at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, who's ambition was to gain a doctorate degree in dental surgery. This was to be her first (and last) season as a Top Cat.
Angela (the Brunette): was (is?) a qualified nurse and paramedic, who's mother was the most important thing in her life and was into her second Top Cat season.
So what makes these two Carolina girls so different from the hundreds, nay thousands, of pretty young things who do their stuff upon the playing fields of the world? The same thing that has made so many others the unwitting protagonists of low-brow headline-grabbing societal sleaze, both electronic and on paper, the world over. The long and short of it is we, and by 'we', I mean the great majority of the web-browsing and tabloid reading public, like a juicy bit of scandal... ultimately forgotten when the next piece comes along.
But I stray from the point. What took place, in the early hours of 6th November, 2005, you ask (as if you didn't know already!!). The place: Banana Joe's - the ladies rest-room, to be precise. The time: around 2am. Banana Joe's, for those who may be unfamiliar, is a Tampa Bay, Florida night club. No, I've never been there either, but I'm sure it's a swinging place! Our ladies, patrons of said club, that night, had been to a Panthers game they were not required to perform at. Fair enough. What's so headline-grabbing about that? Well, turns out they got shit-faced and, according to witnesses, decided to have lesbian sex in one of the wash-room cubicles.
Ok, so we've all been there... had one too many, need the John... but, in the majority of cases, that's as far as it goes. One drops ones guts, lays a cable, vomits, or, at any rate, empties one's alimentary canal from one end of the other (or both... now that would be a headline grabber!!). Indeed, for the record, I spent a good deal of time in a cubicle the last time I was at Pizza Express, well and truly emptying my bowels... but that's a story for another time. It may have had a small something to do with the bucket-load of alcohol, I had consumed shortly beforehand... and on an empty stomach!
|Well, it's not quite an international web sensation...yet.
But what Thomas and Keathley did next was the clincher. According to police
reports (and you can find the transcripts all
here) it would seem as though the cheerleading chums had locked
themselves into the cubicle, whereupon a long and increasingly impatient
queue had formed, without, all with full-full bladders. They describe loud
moaning and, from over the top of the stall, Keathley 'was making facial
expressions and noises consistent with someone engaging in sexual activity'.
Upon exiting the stall, the two Top Cats faced an angry mob of urine-filled
ladies, one of which, Melissa Holden, was punched in the face by Thomas.
At that point, our heroines became one with the immortals.
Club security became involved and, thence, the Police. Thomas, rather stupidly, gave a false identity, Kristen Owens (another Top Cat Cheerleader), and even showed the said Owens's driving licence. Owens, it should be noted, was entirely innocent of any misdemeanour, she just happened to look like Thomas, and was 22. That's a year or two older than Thomas - and 21 is the legal minimum age for drinking! Getting the picture now?
These dainty ladies consequently spent the night in the lock-up. To cut a long story short, Keathley 'pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and obstructing a police officer and was sentenced to six months probation on the misdemeanours'. Thomas faced 'more serious charges, including a misdemeanour battery count and a felony rap for providing a false name to a law enforcement officer'. Their parents must've been really proud of them. Their club, the Carolina Panthers weren't. They fired the pair of them, the next day!
The rest is history.
Needless to say, neither of them did time, other than the night, sobering up, in the cells. I believe Thomas, given the more serious nature of her misunderstanding, did some public service and attended anger management classes.
|And where are they now? One cannot choose but
wonder. After having become an overnight international news item, they have
dropped from sight, off the radar so to speak. Admittedly, a lot can happen
in the years since the events detailed here took place. Is Angela still a
nurse? Did Renee achieve her ambition and get that doctorate in dental
surgery? Perhaps, if one is prepared to dig deeply enough, these questions
may yet be answered.
There are two sides to every coin. Their ephemeral story has been told. What happened thereafter is perhaps of no consequence, and should remain behind the cloak of anonymity. The internet has done it's work. These two girls, regardless as to what they go on and do with their lives, will be forever remembered for what took place in a bathroom stall late one night, in a Florida night club. What really happened therein is best known to them. The rest is merely conjecture. I'm sure, given their notorious celebrity, they would both just as soon move on. The past, as it has been said, is a wilderness of horrors, It's best left alone.
How then, one may enquire, is this helping? It isn't, to put it plainly. This is one of countless web items 'dedicated' to Angela and Renee, and what they did. There is nothing new here, that can't otherwise be found elsewhere in that vast Hades that is the internet. The bottom line is - the net has made the world a much smaller and more public place. Have a care, you may become famous, or notorious for reasons you least expected.
References: Just type 'Renee Thomas' and/or 'Angela Keathley' into any internet search engine.... you'll find all the references, and then some, there.
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