What to Know
One report suggests it marks the first time male dancers will appear as part of an NFL team’s cheerleading squad
All but six NFL teams have cheerleaders on their sidelines
Male dancers will appear on NFL sidelines starting in 2018.
The New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams both added men to their cheerleading teams, according to the rosters on their official team websites.
It marks the first time men will be cheering a team in the league since the spirit squads made their debut in 1954, according to nfl.com. All but six of the 32 NFL teams have cheerleading teams.
Men perform stunts during Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens games but don’t dance alongside the women, according to a USA Today report.
The Rams added two men to their cheerleading roster and the Saints added one.
“We are proud that one of our new members Jesse Hernandez, like all of the other candidates, went through a very rigorous and thorough audition process which was podcast on our digital assets,” said Ashley Deaton, senior director of the Saintsations, in an email. “Jesse was evaluated by a panel of judges that deemed his talents warranted a position on the team.”
In an email, a Rams spokeswoman said there are 40 cheerleaders on this year’s team. The selection process includes an application submission, two rounds of preliminary auditions, an interview, three rehearsals and a final audition.
Future Rams cheerleader Napoleon Jinnies tweeted that he “still can’t believe” he’s one of the first cheerleaders in the NFL: “Everyone’s support and love has been insane!”