When the Los Angeles Rams secured their place in this year’s Super Bowl to play against the New England Patriots, they set a course for a historic appearance. The Rams cheerleading squad is one of just two in the NFL with male cheerleaders. So when the Rams hit the field in Atlanta on Feb. 3, their two male cheerleaders will make history as the first to perform in a Super Bowl.
The 2018 season marked the first time men joined ranks of official NFL squads. Jesse Hernandez joined the New Orleans Saints cheerleaders, and Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron joined the Rams.
After making the team, Jinnies posted a photo of the squad to his Instagram, along with the caption, “Still can’t believe I’m one of the first males in history to be a pro NFL cheerleader!”
Still can’t belive 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! @RamsNFL @LARamsCheer #LARams pic.twitter.com/srpkYiVmEI
— Napoleon Jinnies (@NapoleonJinnies) March 27, 2018
The two men have known each other since their college days and have been professional dancers for years. Fast Company reported that when they saw each other warming up at the Rams’ audition call, it was a surprise. However, even though they were technically competing for spots, the men came to an agreement.
“I walked up to him and said, ‘Hey, no matter what happens, we’re doing this for us and for the boys,’” Peron told Fast Company. “From the beginning, we were like, ‘We’re going to do this together.’”
Aye Napoleon, you think Atlanta is ready for us? … NAHHHHHH 😜😜😜… WE’RE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL! 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/oWFAElcw61
— Quinton Peron (@Qperon) January 21, 2019
In just one season, Peron and Jinnies have changed the face of cheerleading performance on the field.
“No more numbers set to songs with titles like ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,'” Rams choreographer John Peters told Fast Company. The men perform without pompoms. While their uniforms are different from the women’s, they perform a lot of the same dance moves.
“One team, one family, one ‘Ramily.’ I just want the boys to know we have their backs,” squad co-captain Ally Martinez said.
Come Feb. 3, these two trailblazers will take center stage for the biggest performance of their lives. How do they feel about the honor? Jinnies sums it up in his Twitter response to his friend and teammate Peron:
2018 first male cheerleaders in the NFL
2019 first male cheerleaders dancing at the Super Bowl.
I 👏🏽can’t👏🏽 breath👏🏽
— Napoleon Jinnies (@NapoleonJinnies) January 21, 2019
Congrats to these two for their groundbreaking season! We’re looking forward to seeing them perform at the Super Bowl.