Get ready for an NFL first: male cheerleaders.
Though it’s common to see men cheering on the sidelines at football games at the high school and college levels — Samuel J. Jackson, Steve Martin, and George W. Bush all did their part for team spirit in their day — the Los Angeles Rams will be the first NFL team to have them on the field.
Good Morning America introduced newly minted Rams cheerleaders Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, who will make their debut in the 2018-19 season after an intense audition process.
“They were unlike anything I’ve ever been to,” Jinnies said of the tryouts. “I’m used to getting a call after or an email. This one was about three weeks long and we had a bunch of rehearsals in between and an extensive interview process, but it was really humbling and amazing to be invited every time you came back.”
Both men are California locals with classical dance training. They’ll be performing alongside an otherwise all-female squad, with 40 dancers in total.
“They really just fit the bill to be a Los Angeles Rams cheerleader,” squad captain Emily Leibert said. “They are intelligent, they are eloquent, they are more than qualified to be ambassadors out in the community. They bring so much energy and there’s something so magnetic about their performance, you really can’t take your eyes off them.”
Jinnies praised the team for “truly showing we stand and [welcoming] inclusivity” in an Instagram post, while Peron said he was “humbled and honored” to join the squad. In a video from tryouts, he said that he wanted to prove that “boys can dance too.”
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