If you've seen Cheer, or maybe even if you haven't, you've heard of La'Darius Marshall. The outspoken Navarro cheerleader touched audiences when he opened up about his childhood troubles and his journey to win the National Championships with his college squad. His profound story undoubtedly made an impact on the docuseries' viewers — himself included, it turns out. La'Darius Marshall's quotes about Cheer's impact on him are so heartfelt, they'll give you chills.
Marshall was introduced in the first episode of Cheer as a stumbler with a fiery personality and impressive tumbling skills. But fans got a much deeper look into Marshall's life later on in the series, when he opened up about his heartbreaking childhood experiences, which included separation from his mom, struggles being accepted by his brothers, and sexual abuse.
Bringing these intimate life details to television wasn't exactly an easy task for Marshall. "When we first started the show, I was a little nervous, a little scared, because nobody wants to talk about the bad things that happened in their life," he explained on Jan. 23 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he appeared alongside his Navarro coach Monica Aldama and teammates Gabi Butler and Jerry Harris.
Although he was nervous to talk about the darker parts of his life on Cheer, he said it ended up helping him connect better with his family. "They were learning stuff about me that they did not know," he told DeGeneres, adding that his mom called him immediately after the Cheer was released. "She was like, 'I'm so proud of you. I never knew how strong you really were or what you were really going through until I saw it on camera,'" Marshall explained.
Allowing a Netflix documentary crew to follow him around and bring childhood trauma to light turned out to be a cathartic experience for Marshall. "After the show I felt so much better, because I got away from all my chains; I felt like I was being held down, and I felt like I was finally free, that I could fly," he told DeGeneres. The cheerleader's sincerity shone during his interview, and gave fans even more insight into how much cheerleading has impacted his life for the better.
Cheer is on Netflix now.