NFL cheerleading teams will have male cheerleaders amongst their ranks for the first time ever this football season.
The Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints are the first teams to diversify their leagues - with three men joining.
Cheering as part of the Rams will be dancers Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, who made the team in March.
The news of their addition to the team was announced with a official portrait of the cheerleading squad, which Jinnies then tweeted.
“Still can’t believe I’m one of the first males in history to be a pro NFL cheerleader! Everyone’s support and love has been insane! Thank you and GO RAMS!” he wrote.
Both men had to beat 74 other applicants before they made the team.
“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,” Jinnies told Good Morning America about one of the auditions.
Following the Rams’ decision, Jesse Hernandez tried out for the Saintsations cheerleading team - and made the cut.
The 25-year-old told KATC that he tried out after his mum sent him a link to a story about Peron and Jinnies.
“She told me it was my time to shine,” he said before his audition.
In response to Hernandez joining the team of cheerleading elite, the New Orleans Saints said: “We are proud that one of our new members Jesse Hernandez, like all of the other candidates, went through a very rigorous and thorough audition process.
“Jesse was evaluated by a panel of judges that deemed his talents warranted a position on the team.”
Although some of the NFL cheerleading teams have stuntmen, this is the first time male team members will be taking to the field to dance alongside their female counterparts.
To make the team, NFL cheerleaders must prove they can keep up with the high-speed, arduous choreography - in addition to making it through various auditions, interviews, and tests, according to CBS News.
Once a cheerleader makes the team, they are required to follow various rules and regulations that ensure specific appearance and team conduct.
According to the New York Times, rulebooks can include anything from banning sweatpants in public to requiring the cheerleaders to maintain their own uniforms.
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