The NFL is making headlines for reasons other than players kneeling for the anthem or the dangers of concussions. CNN reported yesterday that male dancers are making their debuts on the sidelines this season for two teams. The Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints added male dancers to their cheer squads. For the first times, it appears rampant sexism within the NFL will take a backseat as men join the dancing ranks.
Since the NFL is more known for their hard hits and alpha-male star players, I was delighted to see teams taking steps to feature men in their dance teams. Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies made the Rams cheer squad in March. Their additions to the spirit squad were a first in NFL History.
The addition of the two men to the Rams inspired another man, Jesse Hernandez to try-out for another team. When the Saints held try-outs for their Saintsations cheerleading team, Jesse Hernandez decided to try out for the squad. He tried out and made the squad.
There have been several headlines about cheer squads in the NFL this past offseason. A Cheerleader, Bailey Davis, was terminated by the Saints for photos she posted on Instagram. Her termination opened a tidal wave of reports on pay inequality, unfair fitness standards, and exposed fraternization rules that discriminated against the women.
Learning about how cheerleaders on NFL teams are treated surprised and upset many in the media. Many stories were published on the double standards cheerleaders face. One of the most discussed rules was that Saints Cheerleaders had to leave a restaurant if a player arrived at the same establishment. Even if the dancer arrived before the player, the regulations required her to leave the restaurant.
Now that male dancers have been added to rosters, there may be changes coming as a whole to the cheer squads in the NFL. Hopefully, it will open dialogue with owners on the sexist rules given to cheerleaders. Additionally, I hope the addition of the men will inspire other teams to take steps to add men to their teams.
The NFL season kicks off Thursday, September 6th with the Atlanta Falcons taking on the Super Bowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles. Our first peek at the male dancers will take place Sunday, September 9th when Saints host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The new male Rams Cheerleaders will be center stage on Monday Night Football when the Raiders host the Rams.
If you want to engage with me on social media, please connect to me with the following links:
If you enjoy my articles, please consider a one time gift via my Buy Me a Coffee Account. I work hard to provide insightful content every day for you to enjoy.
Subscribe and commit to a small monthly donation to support my writing. Funding provided by donations allow me to pay for images, pay contributors, and raise funding for grants for families of children with disabilities.