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Who Is Justine Lindsay? 5 Things to Know About the NFL’s 1st Openly Transgender Cheerleader

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Making history! Justine Lindsay is the NFL’s newest star — and the season hasn’t even started yet.The 29-year-old dancer joined the Carolina Panthers’ TopCats cheerleading squad in March, making her the first openly transgender cheerleader in NFL history.“Cats Out the Bag you are looking at the newest member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader’s @topcats as the first Transgender female,” Lindsay wrote via Instagram after joining the team. “I would like to thank the beautiful and talented dancers who supported me along the way alumni TopCats family and friends for your love and support.

I would not have gotten to this moment in my life if it wasn’t for the support.”Chandalae Lanouette, the director of the TopCats, told BuzzFeed News that Lindsay had noted on her application that she’s trans, but it was her talent that landed her a spot on the squad. “My goal is to create a team of individuals that are absolute fire on the field but are incredible human beings in the locker room, good friends, good people, and at the end of the day, you have to walk through the door first to get to that spot,” Lanouette explained in an interview published on Saturday, June 4.The NFL isn’t a league known for its progressivism, and its cheerleading squads are no exception.

A report from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport showed that 69 percent of NFL players in 2020 were Black, but a similar survey estimated that only 17 percent of the league’s cheerleaders were Black.

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