No matter how the Los Angeles Rams fare against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, they can take pride in the fact that in at least one area, they’ve done something never before done in Super Bowl history.
That’s right: the Rams are the first team to bring male cheerleaders to the Super Bowl.
FOLLOW LIVE: Patriots face Rams in Super Bowl LIII
When the Rams took the field at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, they were cheered on by a troupe that includes Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, the first male cheerleaders in the league’s history.
The Rams and the Saints remain the only teams to field male cheerleaders.
As you’d expect in a league that relies heavily on tradition and what-has-come-before, to put it politely, Peron and Jinnies have faced far more than their fair share of questions, quizzical looks, and outright criticism.
They knew that when they took the gig, and they’ve rolled with it all season.
“I caught some flack. But if this is what you want to do, then do it because it’s your life,” Peron told Reuters.
“No one can live your life for you. Dream your dream, live your truth and if there’s something out there that you want to do, do it. Go out there, attack it and get it.”
Peron and Jinnies believe their presence on the team illustrates the diversity of a city like Los Angeles.
You can imagine that male cheerleaders might not go over so well in certain other NFL cities.
Regardless, they’re here, a visible sign of changing times, and now they’re on the biggest stage in American sports.
Needless to say, it caused quite a stir.