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The Real History of Cheerleading Might Just Shock You

Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

As we watch a Dallas Cowboys game and see the famous Cowboys cheerleaders, do you ever wonder how cheerleading came about? Here is a little back story on the history of cheerleading, and it contains a fact that may shock you.

I have always believed cheerleading to be a female sport. There have even been controversies surrounding males that try to join teams that cheer for large teams like the Cowboys.

It is seen as almost taboo for men to want to cheer. A lot of people are under the impression that those men that want to join in the “Go Team” chants are homosexual. This is not always the case, but it is hard to break that stereotype.

What people do not know is that the very first American cheerleaders were all men.

The tradition of cheerleaders was first invented in Great Britain in the 1860’s. explains that after the sport began over the pond it moved here to America.”The first cheerleaders in the U.S. were organized by Princeton Pep club member Thomas Peebler.”

Six men, the first cheerleaders, revved up the crowd at a game between Princeton and the University of Minnesota.

The first female cheerleaders did not show up until the 1920’s. Those first male cheerleaders began in 1898. That is a long time for men to have complete control over the activity. So why is it so weird now to see male cheerleaders?

Could it be that men watching a bunch of other sweaty men wrestle with each other on the field was too much? Where woman allowed to cheer because men needed a break from the other men?

I believe this is probably the case. If men wanted a distraction from all the other men in tight uniforms, it would explain the uniforms that the cheerleaders wear being so almost nonexistent.

So, this might change the way you look at cheerleaders from now on. The next Cowboys game that you watch, imagine those tiny uniforms on a group of guys.

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