Watch the historic moment male cheerleader dances at NFL match
Jesse Hernandez has made his debut as the first ever male cheerleader for National Football League (NFL) team New Orleans Saints. Watch the video below.
The 25-year old, who performed at the first pre-season match for the team’s cheerleading squad Saintsations on Friday (August 17), is among the first three male cheerleaders to perform in the NFL.
Earlier in August, it was revealed that male cheerleaders Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies will be part of the Los Angeles Rams’ squad this season.
Watch New Orleans Saints’ first male Saintsation make his debut:
In the video, Hernandez, dressed in a white t-shirt and dark trousers, can be seen dancing with a smile on his face.
Unlike his female counterparts, he does not hold pom-poms.
Hernandez previously posted on local TV channel KATC‘s YouTube channel before the final try-out, telling viewers that Peron, Jinnies and his mother had been huge inspirations for him in his journey.
He said that “a big reason why I wanted to try out and be a part of this great team is… my mum sent me a link about the LA Rams’ male cheerleaders who made the team a couple of weeks ago.”
He added: “The process has been great, everyone has been really nice to me and I can’t wait to see where this goes.”
The cheerleader had also told WDSU News: “It was very difficult, growing up being a male dancer, but I never gave it up, because it’s something that I love to do.
“I wanted to pursue it when I got out of high school, but there were always little negative things here and there, and of course that hits the ego.”
Peron and Jinnies, meanwhile, were accepted into the Rams’ squad in March.
After he made it, Jinnies tweeted: “Still can’t believe I’m one of the first males in history to be a pro NFL cheerleader!
“Everyone’s support and love has been insane! thank you and GO RAMS!”
Last year, retired NFL player Ryan O’Callaghan came out as gay.
O’Callaghan was drafted to the New England Patriots in 2006, and has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs.
He explained that he had tried to come out once before, in 2014, when he publicly thanked his boyfriend while receiving an award – but the news went pretty much unnoticed.
There has only been one openly gay player in NFL history – St Louis Rams player Michael Sam.
Sam did not have a glittering career and was later cut from the team amid immense media scrutiny.