The NFL’s first male cheerleader has made his peppy little appearance at this weekend’s New Orleans Saints game as Jesse Hernandez becomes the first male Saintsation team member.
The gay website The Advocate was glowing with the bright light of a thousands suns upon Jesse’s debut. In a Sunday post, The Advocate gushed about how the new cheerleader’s mom viewed her son’s achievement:
The crowd in the stadium was the biggest Jesse had performed in front of since his dancing career began 23 years ago, at the age of 2.
The teasing and taunts he braved when he became the first boy to perform on the dance team at North Vermilion High School in his hometown of Maurice still stung Tracey.
But she calmed herself by reciting Jesse’s achievements up to this point — the competitions he’s won, the instructor gigs, his stint coaching the dance team for a minor-league hockey franchise in Lafayette that she herself once danced for.
She remembered how countless people had come up to her after word broke that Jesse had made the Saintsations and told her, “We are proud of him; we support him; give him our congratulations” — even burly men visiting the Harley-Davidson motorcycle shop where she works.
While she admitted being annoyed at online commenters who in recent weeks had insulted her son’s masculinity for becoming a Saintsation, she brushed them aside as kickoff time approached.
“Those people just need to get over it,” said Tracey Hernandez, who attended Friday’s game with three family friends, one of whom had an oversized, cutout picture of her son’s face.
“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.”
And here he is strutting his stuff…
Jesse looked entirely competent at the moves, of course. But come on. Did he not stick out like a sore thumb?
I even question his “uniform.” Clothing wise, he looks like a fan who jumped down out of the stands and began hoofing it with the gals. His get-up just does not speak to the idea that he is a cheerleader. He looks like a guy that got lost going to the beer stand.
I would image that this idea won’t die, of course. But this somewhat lackluster beginning, isn’t it?
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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