Lorenzo Gilbert becomes first openly gay, male Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Lorenzo Gilbert (center) becomes the first openly gay, male cheerleader in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history April 6. (Photo by Kyle Zedaker)

TAMPA | The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced their 2019 cheerleading squad April 6, making Lorenzo Gilbert the first openly gay, male cheerleader in the NFL team’s 44-year history.

Over 100 athletes auditioned for the squad, a week-long process that began with open preliminaries at Tampa’s AdventHealth Training Center March 30. Applicants learned routines, participated in conditioning drills and faced workshops and interviews before 49 finalists advanced to the final audition showcase the following week. A total of 32 hopefuls, including Gilbert, were appointed to the squad.

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Breast cancer survivor confronted during Bucs game for using female restroom

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Orlando resident Toni Gott, a breast cancer survivor who has undergone a double mastectomy, prematurely left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Cleveland Browns game honoring cancer survivors at Raymond James stadium Oct. 21 following a confrontation with a Tampa Sports Authority employee concerning her use of a female restroom.

The game followed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation’s sixth annual Treasure Chests 5K and Fun Run, benefitting breast cancer research and patient services across Tampa Bay. Throughout the game, the Buccaneers honored cancer survivors and featured other league-wide programming.

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