This Holiday season Will Smith stars in the dramatic thriller, CONCUSSION, in theaters December 25th! This film is based on the incredible true “David vs. Goliath” story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalu’s emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful – and beloved – institutions in the world. To celebrate this film and honor players in the game, let’s take a look at some of the greatest Hispanic football players in sports history!
Tom Flores is living proof that hard work pays off. In 1958, Flores graduated from the University of the Pacific, but after two years of failed attempts at getting into the NFL, he ended up on the AFL’s Oakland Raiders as a quarterback. Flores, who is the child of Mexican-American parents, eventually earned a starting spot, making him the first Hispanic player to ever accomplish such a feat.
It’s hard to talk about the best tight ends to ever play the game of football and not mention Tony Gonzalez. However, it’s even more difficult to imagine that the guy who has Cape Verdean, Jamaican, and Scottish roots from his father’s side, as well as being of African-American, Caucasian, Mexican-American, and Native American descent from his mother’s family, almost didn’t play at all. As a kid, Gonzalez was more interested in other activities that had nothing to do with sports. Following some persuasion by his older brother Chris, an 11-year-old Tony decided to give football a try, though he was slow to embrace the game.
Much like Tony Gonzalez and tight ends, you can’t discuss the best offensive linemen without bringing up Anthony Munoz. Born in Ontario, Calif., to Mexican-American parents, Munoz and his brother Tom were raised by their mother, who worked on a nearby farm to make ends meet.
Romo has secured numerous franchise records, including most passing yards, as well as most passing touchdowns, yards, and completions in a season. While Romo has been somewhat mum about bringing too much attention to his Mexican-American roots on his father’s side, his grandparents Ramiro and Felicita are never too far away, living in Texas.
With a 6-foot-7, 220-pound frame, Ted Hendricks, who comes from a Guatemalan mother and American father, was an absolute terror on the defensive side of the ball. In his three years at the University of Miami, Hendricks amassed 327 tackles, a record for Hurricanes defensive linemen. After coming in fifth in the 1968 Heisman Trophy voting, the man nicknamed the “Mad Stork” entered the draft but wasn’t taken until the second round by the Baltimore Colts.