History will be made on Sunday when two male members of the Los Angeles Rams cheering squad will take to the sidelines, becoming the first male cheerleaders to perform at the Super Bowl.
At the start of the 2018 season, the Rams made history when they signed professional dancers Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies to the cheering squad; the Rams join the New Orleans Saints, who also welcomed a male cheerleader at the start of the season.
Now, Peron and Jinnies will be on the sidelines when the Rams take on the New England Patriots in Atlanta.
“The whole world, especially in the world of entertainment… is in a place of being open and if you can do the job, why not,” Jinnies told CBS News.
Men have taken to the football field to usually assist with or perform stunts with the female counterparts, but never dance in a routine.
“I was like if we’re going to be here we need to make a statement, not just stand in the shadows and get intimidated,” Peron told the news outlet.
During an appearance on Good Morning America, teammate Emily Leibert called the men “trailblazers,” saying the Rams’ fans have embraced Peron and Jinnies both on and off the field.
“Having these two on the team has been really incredible and to work different community events with them, to see the way they have been embraced by our fans is pretty unbelievable,” Leibert said. “They are extraordinary in that they are trailblazers but they are also totally normal teammates, they fit right in.
“I think that the fans have embraced them as such and it’s been a really wonderful experience to see all of our L.A. fans and our community just open up and accept these two,” she said.
Peron and Jinnies said by making it to the Super Bowl, they have opened the door for more men to try out for cheerleading roles.
“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 dance or cheer team and high school teams,” Peron said. “It’s exciting to see society change a little bit.”