The New England Patriots have announced the addition of two male cheerleaders into the 2019 cheering squad, a move that has not been done in over 30 years for the team.
The two openly gay men, 23-year-old Driss Dallahi and 22-year-old Steven Sonntag, say they were inspired to audition after seeing the success of openly gay Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron, who performed with the Rams cheering squad at the Super Bowl.
Speaking with WBTS-TV, Dallahi said, “At least in my lifetime, it was the first time I had seen two men do something like that.”
Sonntag who expected to be the only male auditioning at tryouts explained, “I attended that workshop and walked in and heard there was another boy, and so I was immediately looking around trying to find him.”
“We didn’t really know the criteria for male cheerleaders auditioning for the New England Patriots, so we kind of created that together in texting back and forth.”
However, despite their nerves, both men made the cut and are now officially the first male cheerleaders to be on the squad since the 1980s.