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NFL Announces Male Cheerleaders And Fans Are Seriously Divided

Sports Illustrated

There's no shortage of controversies in the National Football League (NFL), but this recent news is something we should all be celebrating about.

The NFL announced that the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints will include male cheerleaders on their squad for the first time, and you'll be able to see them on the sidelines this season!

NFL teams like the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts have stuntmen, but these three male dancers will be performing alongside their female pro cheerleaders.

Classically-trained dancers Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies have been in the spotlight ever since making NFL history in March.

They were among 76 finalists chosen for the final 40-person squad, according to ABC News.

"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," LA Rams cheerleader captain Emily Leibert said. "They bring so much energy and there's something so magnetic about their performance, you really can't take your eyes off them."

"Still can't believe I'm one of the first males in history to be a pro NFL cheerleader!" Jinnies tweeted after being selected.

“This week has been a whirlwind!,” Peron tweeted. “But it’s still so surreal to me that I am one of the first male cheerleaders to dance for a pro team.”

As for the Saints Saintsations, dancer Jesse Hernandez will join the New Orleans squad.

Cheerleading was actually an all-male activity.

Believe it or not, organized cheerleading started as a male activity more than a century ago. Only men would cheer from the stands.

It wasn't until the mid '90s that women joined the activity, and ended up dominating the cheerleading profession.

Statistics show that more than 90% of all modern cheerleading participants are female, but it's more co-ed at the college level.

Unsurprisingly, women are selected for their sex appeal and ability to dance.

While many people are excited that the NFL is promoting equality, not everyone agrees with the decision.

"Yea, I’m just about done with the NFL. They’ve managed to f*** up a great sport," one Instagram user wrote on jerrynews.

"This sport is going downhill in a hurry," another commented.

"Nobody pays top dollar to see male cheerleaders on the sideline."

This Instagram user had the perfect reply:

"If you’re bothered by this, there’s a reason. Grow up and quit whining, the world changes."

The NFL preseason starts this week! Will you be watching these talented men?

For more NFL stories, click below:

1. College Football Player Who Has Only One Hand Defies The Odds And Amazes NFL

2. NFL Player Is Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is To Support Education

3. Tom Brady Body-Shamed After Shirtless Beach Photo Surfaces

[H/T: ABC News / CNN]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.