Don’t call them “stunt men:” Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron are official Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders, part of a 40-person cheer squad helping pump up their team’s spirits at Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta, Georgia tonight.
They inspired the Rams inspired the male cheerleader meme, and this marks the first appearance of officially-designated male cheerleaders in the Super Bowl’s history. (Previously, men who joined their female counterparts in Super Bowl cheer squads were described as the “male stunt team.”)
Jinnies and Peron tried out for the team just like any other cheerleader nearly a year ago — and they got the jobs.
“If you have the talent and skill set, you shouldn’t be discriminated on the basis of sex,” Molly Higgins, team vice president of community affairs and engagement, told USA Today. “My hope is that this is going to become the new normal.”
Jinnies agreed: “Especially the world of entertainment is in a place of being open, and if you can do the job, why not,” he told CBS News. Both Jinnies and Peron are trained as dancers, according to their social media, and while they leave the crop-top-wearing to their female teammates, they perform much of the same choreography.