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Boston Patriots Newest Team to Add Male Cheerleaders

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Apr 12, 2019
Driss Dallahi
Driss Dallahi  (Source:Screengrab from NBC 10)

Two male cheerleaders - Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies - made history when they went to the Super Bowl in January to exhort the Los Angeles Rams to play their best against the New England Patriots. The Patriots won the Super Bowl victory, but it now looks like they gained something else, too: A pair of male cheerleaders to call their own. New Patriots cheerleaders Driss Dallahi and Steven Sonntag were so inspired by the men on the Rams' cheering squad that they decided to try out for spots with the Patriots, reports Boston CBS affiliate WBZ.

The Patriots have had male cheerleaders before, CBS noted, but not since the early 1980s. Other than the Rams, and now the Patriots, only the New Orleans Saints includes men on their cheering squad.

As Peron and Jinnies had done when they landed spots with the Rams, Dallahi took to Instagram to share his good news.

"Never thought something like this would be possible but today's the day," Dallahi posted. "So excited and grateful to officially be a 2019 New England Patriots Cheerleader."



Sonntag echoed those sentiments in an Instagram post of his own. "So excited to say that I am now an NFL Cheerleader for the New England Patriots," Sonntag exclaimed.


Dallahi, 23, a native New Englander, hails from New Hampshire. He told Boston NBC affiliate Channel 10 that he knew he would be conspicuous during tryouts "because I am over 6 feet tall, and two, because I am a male."

Sonntag, 22, told NBC that he and Dallahi met at a pre-tryout workshop. Once they made that connection, NBC reported, they worked together to define a look they would share during the tryouts process.

Multiple media sources said that the two were the only men to try out this year for the Patriots' cheerleading squad. But Tracy Sormanti, the teams' cheerleading director, told NBC that gender was not the deciding factor.

"They were not selected because they were the first men to try out," Sormanti stated. "They were selected because they actually had the talent."


Watch the NBC story below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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