Cheer was Netflix's first breakout documentary of 2020. Upon arrival back in January, it seemed like everyone was talking about the Navarro Cheer Team in Corsicana, Texas. But there were a few team members who became stars almost immediately, including Jerry Hall, Gabi Butler, and La'Darius Marshall. Both Butler and Marshall already had web presences before the documentary aired, and the series took them to the next level. But only a few months after his Netflix debut, La'Darius Marshall's plans after Navarro turn out to have nothing to do with cheerleading.
Marshall was notable in the series because of his dedication to the craft. He's a relatively quiet presence next to Hall until it's time to go to work. Then it's a little like a switch being flipped, as his game face comes out, and he buckles down. By the time he's done, he's proved the old dancer's adage that "real men lift women."
In the documentary, the National Cheerleading Championship, which is held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida, is the thing everyone is working towards, an ultimate end goal, the crowning jewel of a college cheerleading career. But, like most other things right now, it's been canceled, leaving seniors like Marshall to end their college careers with disappointment.
But in an interview with The Cut, Marshall seems to be taking it in stride.
I’m just taking it day by day and accepting that this is yet again another one of God’s plans for me. I love Navarro with all of my heart and cherish every moment we had together.
So what's next for Marshall? One of the ironies in Cheer is that, despite how hard and how good these athletes are, there is no professional cheerleading league to head to after college, no NBA or NFL or NHL to try out for.
So for Marshall, it's time to retire.
I’m already 21, To me, that’s old, and it’s time to give it up. I want to be something different. I just get burned out really easily. And my body? I can feel it coming.
As for what he might want to do, he brings up acting. "That’s something I have a big passion for that I’ve never gotten to do."
Could Marshall find himself cast in a Netflix show down the line? Or maybe come back as a coaching figure in a Cheer Season 2? Fans will have to wait and see what's next.