Justine Lindsay made NFL history when she became the league’s first-ever transgender cheerleader.
Lindsay is now officially a member of the Carolina Panthers’ TopCats squad.
“This is big,” Lindsay told BuzzFeed News.” I think more people need to see this. It’s not because I want recognition. It’s just to shed light on what’s going on in the world.”
She also shared the announcement on her Instagram page:
“Cats Out the Bag you are looking at the newest member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader’s @topcats as the first Transgender female l,” she wrote in the caption of the historic post.
Speaking to the publication, TopCats director Chandalae Lanouette told BuzzFeed News made it crystal clear that Lindsay made the team because of her talent as a cheerleader and not to tick boxes.
“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 asserted.
While the majority of people have been supportive, negative feedback comes with the territory when you’re thrust into the public eye.
“People will use Gods name in vain only to justify their outrageous behavior, don’t make a fool out of yourself. Understand that we are all Gods children, that he is an awesome God from sun up to sun down. I live through him. Negative hate stay away,” she wrote in a separate post.
Lindsay’s recruitment opens the door for many other talented athletes eager for a chance to make it into the league.
“I’m happy because I was able to break down that door and tell people, ‘Hey, we are not just sexual beings,'” Lindsay expressed. “‘We are actual human beings who want to better ourselves.’ I felt like, why not tell the world: ‘Hey, listen, this is a great accomplishment.'”