Two male cheerleaders to make history at the Super Bowl

Cheerleading enters a new era as two men join the L.A. Rams squad.

For many, part of the appeal of American Football is undoubtedly the sight of the cheerleaders dancing up a storm and egging the crowd on to support their team.

Traditionalists may be affronted to see that the ranks of the Los Angeles Ram's leggy cheerleading team now includes two men: Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies.

MALE CHEERLEADERS AT THE SUPERBOWL

Peron and Jinnies joined the L.A. Rams squad last year, and will be making history at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

They will be the first male cheerleaders to perform at the Superbowl on February 3, 2019, when the LA Rams face the New England Patriots.

FROM CLASSIC BALLET TO NFL CHEERLEADERS

Peron and Jinnies are classically trained dancers, and they perform the same routines as the female cheerleaders.

The Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts have men in their cheerleading squads, but they do not dance. They serve as support for the cheerleaders' more demanding physical stunts.

Both men revealed that they have had a lot of positive feedback from young men excited by the possibility of joining the cheerleaders.

OPENING THE WAY FOR A NEW GENERATION OF CHEERLEADERS

Peron and Jinnies have been posting and boasting about their forthcoming performance at the Superbowl:

“It's been a crazy 10 months. Dancing hard and really engaging with our community and our team and supporting our players. I can't believe that we made it to this point, so I'm pretty sure it's showing off that we've been working pretty hard."

The two men will be inspiring a new generation of cheerleaders and it's very likely that next season's try-out for the squad will be flooded with male candidates.

CHALLENGING GENDER ROLES

Both men revealed that they have had a lot of positive feedback from young men excited by the possibility of joining the cheerleaders.

"I think we can both say that we've been reached out to by so many men that are so excited to try out, not just men our age but young men trying out for the junior high school cheer team, and it's exciting to see this change." 

We may look forward to a future where highschooler's ambitions may range from dating the cheerleaders to being the cheerleaders.

BACK IN THE DAY WHEN ALL CHEERLEADERS WERE MALE

Those who may object to the inclusion of Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies in the lineup of leggy lovelies would do well to look to the past.

When cheerleading first began back in the 1800s, it was an all-male sport and considered too demanding for women.

Consisting of demanding gymnastics, daring stunts, and crowd leadership, cheerleading was considered a strictly male occupation carried out by brawny, seriously ripped men. Pom poms were not an option.

A 1911 newspaper article reveals the prestige of cheerleading prior to WWI:

"The reputation of having been a valiant “cheer-leader” is one of the most valuable things a boy can take away from college.  As a title to promotion in professional or public life, it ranks hardly second to that of having been a quarterback."

When men were deployed to fight World War I, and cheerleaders were needed, women stepped in - and ended up taking over.

Men were ousted from what had once been a solely male sport, and female cheerleaders had many detractors:

"[Women cheerleaders] frequently became too masculine for their own good… we find the development of loud, raucous voices… and the consequent development of slang and profanity by their necessary association with [male] squad members"

Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies are in fact the first brave warriors showing men the way back to their rightful place on the sidelines of American Football.

In a related story, an NFL cheerleader was hailed as a 'heroine' for taking a knee during American national anthem.

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