(ABC News) — For the first time in NFL history, the Los Angeles Rams announced that two men would join its cheerleading squad.
Quinton Peron and Napolean Jinnies will step out on the field this season, cheering and dancing alongside the previously all-female team.
“I thought, ‘Why not me? Why can’t I do this?’ And called my friend and I asked her when auditions were for the Rams and she told me Sunday [March 11] and I showed up,” Peron said in an interview on “Good Morning America.”
The two men and California natives were among the 76 finalists who auditioned for the Rams cheer team and told “GMA” they were elated to make the squad, especially after the lengthy audition process.
“They were unlike anything I’ve ever been to. I’m used to getting a call after or an email,” Jinnies said, referring to other auditions. “This one was about three weeks long and we had a bunch of rehearsals in between and an extensive interview process, but it was really humbling and amazing to be invited every time you came back.”
Both men are classically-trained dancers and have been performing their whole lives. LA Rams cheerleader captain Emily Leibert said they were chosen for more than just their killer moves.
“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,” Leibert said. “They bring so much energy and there’s something so magnetic about their performance, you really can’t take your eyes off them.”
— Rams Cheerleaders (@LARamsCheer) March 27, 2018
Peron and Jinnies round out the team of 40 cheerleaders and will perform as traditional cheerleaders in every sense of the word.
Both the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts have male stuntmen, but Peron and Jinnies are the first-ever male dancers for a professional NFL team.