This season will mark the first time in decades that men will be joining the ranks of NFL cheerleader squads.
Instinct recently wondered how the new guys on the NFL cheerleader block would be received, and now we have our answer.
First to make his debut was 25-year-old Jesse Hernandez who took to the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this past Friday for the New Orleans Saints preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
According to Nola.com, for many the historic moment came and went without fanfare although one woman interviewed in the staduim crowd offered her support saying, “If he can dance and perform, I don’t care.”
Another woman chimed in saying, “I think it’s awesome.”
Watch video of Hernandez’s debut below.
Also in the supportive category is Jesse’s mom, Tracey Hernandez, who drove hours to attend her son’s debut performance.
The New Orleans Advocate’s Ramon Antonio Vargas profiled Jesse’s mother in an interview that underscored her total support for her son.
In the interview, she also admitted that Jesse had experienced bullying and harassment for a long time going back to when he became the first male to make his high school dance team in his hometown of Maurice, La. years ago.
“Those people just need to get over it,” Mama Hernandez said. “We’re in 2018. Things shouldn’t be just for men or just for women. If you have the ability to do it, you should be able to do it.”
The Facebook comments to the Advocate article confirmed Mama Hernandez's concerns.
From The New Orleans Advocate:
Based on the Facebook comments on Vargas’ story, Tracey Hernandez’s fears were realized. One he-man dismissed Jesse as a “gay bait prancing around like a fairy.” “That’s no man,” someone else said. Another ALL-CAPS guy said it was ‘THE NFL PUSHING THE PUSSYCRAT POLE SMOKING ETHICS,” whatever that means.
Other comments: “Homo.” “Pantywaist.” “Sick libturd bullshit.” “What male football fan wants some queer prancing around with the women?” “I'm surprised he hasn't set off the fire alarms in the Superdome.”
None of that mattered to Hernandez, though, as he took to the field wearing black skinny jeans and a black/white t-shirt with a fleur de lis.
Props to Jesse Hernandez and to LA Rams cheerleaders Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, who will make their debut shortly.
In the video below, Hernandez chats about why he decided to try out prior to his being cast as a new “Saintsation.”