Male cheerleaders to make Super Bowl debut

ATLANTA • The Super Bowl is synonymous with tailgate parties, glitzy advertisements, headline musical acts, gyrating dancers and of course, the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" incident in 2004.

On Sunday, male cheerleaders will be added to that list.

Tom Brady will lead the New England Patriots out against the Los Angeles Rams as he bids to cap the 19th season of his storied National Football League career with his sixth Super Bowl trophy.

While the quarterback has been pencilled in to play in a record-extending ninth Super Bowl in what will be New England's 11th trip to the annual championship game, a slice of history will also be made on the sidelines.

Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies will break new ground as the first male cheerleaders to perform at a Super Bowl.

This is the first season in league history that male cheerleaders have been allowed to strut their stuff and the duo will dance for the Rams alongside their female counterparts at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Last week, Peron tweeted his excitement after the Rams clinched their spot at Super Bowl LIII, saying: "Napoleon, you think Atlanta is ready for us? Nahhhhhh. We're going to the Super Bowl."

In an interview with TV show Good Morning America last Thursday, he told the hosts of his journey in trying out for the Rams squad: "Why can't I be down there? I've choreographed for girls who dance on pro teams, I've danced with girls on various pro teams. I just thought, 'Why not me?'

"We can both say we have both been reached out to by so many men that are so excited to try out, and not just men our age, but young men trying out for their junior high school dance team or cheer team and high schools.

"It's exciting to see society change a little bit.

"We are extremely excited to see what is going to happen next year."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2019, with the headline 'Male cheerleaders to make Super Bowl debut'. Print Edition | Subscribe