The NFL just welcomed their first modern male cheerleaders in a history making milestone.
It's a bonafide touchdown for trailblazers Quinton Peron and Napolean Jinnies who are classically trained professional dancers from California. They just beat out 76 other finalists for this amazing moment in NFL history.
The pair will be joining the 2018 cheering squad for the Los Angeles Rams, and to celebrate, Peron and Jinnies appeared on Good Morning America with their captain for an interview to share their exciting news.
LA Rams cheer captain Emily Leibert couldn't be more proud of the new additions to the squad she manages. She told host Robin Roberts they were chosen not just for their exceptional dancing, but for their charisma and presence as well.
"They really just fit the bill to be a Los Angeles Rams cheerleader. 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."
NFL’s First Male Cheerleaders to Make Debut During Preseason -- Quinton Peron and Napolean Jinnies showed up, dance… https://t.co/tV12uHcihR— EBONY MAGAZINE (@EBONY MAGAZINE) 1533760442.0
Peron was watching the previously all-female cheerleading team having a good time on the field doing what they love. He began contemplating why he couldn't be among them.
"I thought, 'Why not me? Why can't I do this?' And called my friend and I asked her when auditions were for the Rams and she told me Sunday [March 11] and I showed up."
But did you know that cheerleading was originally an all-male sport?
@globalnews @GlobalBC I thought cheerleading was originally done by men?— MaighreadMcKeigh (@MaighreadMcKeigh) 1533757840.0
In the mid-1800s, the sport involved "gymnastics, stunts and crowd leadership, cheerleading was considered equivalent in prestige to an American flagship of masculinity, football," according to The Society Pages.
In 1911, the editors of Nation – the U.S.'s oldest continuously circulating weekly publication – saw the sport as a character-builder.
"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."
At the high school and collegiate elite levels of cheering, males are integral parts of the cheer squad. President George W. Bush was head cheerleader during his senior year at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and continued cheering while at Yale University. Presidents Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower and Franklin Roosevelt also cheered.
ABC News confirmed that while both the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts have male stuntmen, Peron and Jinnies are the first male dancers ever to perform alongside the female cheerleaders on a professional NFL squad.
@LARamsCheer Can’t wait to get started 💙— Napoleon Jinnies (@Napoleon Jinnies) 1522041114.0
@NYMag Suddenly, I am interested.— badbitch maybe (@badbitch maybe) 1533708070.0
@NapoleonJinnies @LARamsCheer Congratulations! #MobSquadPepSquad 🤘🐏🏈📣— LA Sports Fan (@LA Sports Fan) 1522080167.0
@LARamsCheer Yesssss two male cheerleaders! Amazing!— KARL WARDEN (@KARL WARDEN) 1522081045.0
@EBONYMag As a former NFL Cheerleader -This is a great first step to where the sport is going at a professional lev… https://t.co/0ec23AhSHp— More Than Cheer- Lc (@More Than Cheer- Lc) 1533827656.0
@NYMag Bout time.— Ferol Humphrey (@Ferol Humphrey) 1533704851.0
@Q13FOX Good for them! #equality— Coffey_Grounds (@Coffey_Grounds) 1533640341.0
You can watch the GMA interview with Peron and Jinnies with their cheer captain, Emily Leibert, in the clip below:
H/T - YouTube, Twitter, People, ABC, SocietyPages