The @RamsNFL and @Saints have become the first @NFL teams with male cheerleaders. Dancer Jesse Hernandez will join the Saintsations while Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron will join the LA Rams cheer squad. https://t.co/Hkvr9r4MCS pic.twitter.com/CE9LiLKfG4
— CEO Magazine NorthAm (@CEO__NA) August 7, 2018
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — Looks like the first males to enter the National Football League are also the first African-American males to do it as well, making double-history.
According to People Magazine, their names are Quinton Peron and Napolean Jinnies.
Reportedly, they’re both classically trained dancers from California. The source says they survived a strict, high-intensity audition process. At the end of it, Peron and Jinnies made the 2018 squad for the Los Angeles Rams.
LA Rams’ cheer captain, Emily Leibert, ran the audition and was incredibly impressed at the duos’ performances. According to the source, she mentioned as follows.
“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. They bring so much energy and there’s something so magnetic about their performance, you really can’t take your eyes off them.”
While other football teams have male stunt teams, Peron and Jinnies will be the first men to dance alongside females on a professional NFL cheerleading team.
Three male dancers have joined NFL dance teams, and Y-A-S for inclusivity https://t.co/GWwdtHHkQY pic.twitter.com/5MKwsY5JHa
— HelloGiggles (@hellogiggles) August 7, 2018
According to Jinnies’ Twitter profile, he mentioned the milestone back in March with the following tweet.
“Still can’t belive [sic] 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!”
This week has been a whirlwind! But it’s still so surreal to me that I am one of the First Male cheerleaders to dance for a pro team ! 💙💙 pic.twitter.com/PThiD6aScN
— Quinton Peron (@Qperon) March 30, 2018
BUT GET THIS…
Interestingly, another NFL team is doing the same thing; however, this particular male cheerleader will be taking the place of another who was recently fired. Similar to the LA Rams, the New Orleans Saints have picked up Jesse Hernandez as Bailey Davis’ replacement.
According to People, Davis was allegedly fired earlier this year for posting a picture to Instagram of herself wearing a lacy, one-piece outfit. Bailey, while filing a gender-discrimination claim, says the team required her all-female cheerleading squad to follow far stricter rules than the all-male football team.
The source quotes Davis as follows.
“I was aware of the rules when I joined the team, of course, and I knew they were very strict and we had to be very careful. But it wasn’t until my termination that I realized the players didn’t have the same rules. It was just us.”
Reportedly, she filed her claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Within the document, according to People, Bailey notes that the team’s rules for cheerleaders actually favor players.
Likewise, she says they place “unreasonable restrictions” on cheerleaders — including but not limited to: their social media presences, appearances, or public acts.
Furthermore regarding the complaint, Davis alleges there’s team regulation that requires cheerleaders to make their social media accounts private. Too, they’re strictly prohibited from following any Saints players online — actually, any players at all.
However, as reportedly notes Bailey, players aren’t prohibited from interacting with team dancers. According to People, Sara Blackwell is Davis’ lawyer in this matter, and she says:
“This was so blatant, and in writing, that these written rules were so gender-discriminatory. Another problem is it’s presented as a way to protect the women. This is not 1910, this is 2018, and in America, we don’t need our women to be hidden so they can be protected from consensual contact.”
Adams and Reese LLP’s Gregory Rouchell represents legal counsel for the Saints. And, according to People, Rouchell has a few words on the team’s behalf.
“The New Orleans Saints is an equal opportunity employer, and it denies that Ms. Davis was discriminated against because she is female,” Rouchell mentions to the source. “The Saints will defend these allegations in due course, and the Organization is confident that its policies and workplace rules will withstand legal scrutiny.”
Nevertheless, we’d love to know your thoughts about this recent development as regards the NFL.
Is it football season yet? 💪🏽🏈👅 pic.twitter.com/JcGY7h744J
— Napoleon Jinnies (@NapoleonJinnies) May 24, 2018
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[Featured Photo via Twitter]