First Male Cheerleader Makes His NFL Debut

Jesse Hernandez is making history.

The 25-year-old Maurice native is the first male to be named a cheerleader in the NFL, making his debut with the New Orleans Saintsations on Friday night when the Saints faced off against the Arizona Cardinals.  

Hernandez, who's been dancing since the age of 2, first made headlines after being chosen as a finalist for the squad last spring.

But not all of the publicity has been positive.

In an interview with the New Orleans Advocate, Jesse's mother, Tracey Hernandez of Lafayette, says that her son has faced backlash since high school, when he endured bullying and harassment after becoming the first male to make the dance team. 

“Those people just need to get over it,”  Tracey 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.”

Homophobic comments were seen on social media after  Jesse's Saintsations news broke, with slurs such as "homo" and "pantywaist"  being posted.

But the haters didn't stop him from making an incredible debut.

Jesse took the field in black skinny jeans and a black and white tee with a fleur de lis in the center - and it was definitely a winning performance. 

The Saints, however, endured a 20-15 loss  in their preseason home opener at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.