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Meet the NFL’s First Male Cheerleaders

College and high school cheerleading teams have been co-ed for years. But NFL cheerleaders were always only women (with the exception of some male stuntmen) until 2018. That’s the year professional dancers Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies auditioned for the L.A. Rams cheerleading team, made the squad and led the way for other men to follow. Peron and Jinnies capped off their first cheer season by making history yet again when the L.A. Rams played in the Super Bowl, and they became the first male cheerleaders to perform at the big game. We talk to the guys, who are both gay, about the audition process, the thrill of breaking boundaries and the responsibility they feel as role models for men as well as the LGBTQ+ community.

This story is a part of our new PROUD channel, celebrating stories of the LGBTQ+ community.


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