Credit: Associated Press / YouTube
“I think it’s important to learn Spanish. One, because it’s my heritage…”
Nearly a decade ago, when Mark Sanchez was a star quarterback at USC, he wore a Mexican flag mouthpiece to honor his roots. It seems like no big deal now, but at the time, the move was controversial. Although most fans understood it was a nod to his Mexican roots, other fans criticized Sanchez for not showing enough “American pride.” Once Sanchez entered the NFL, he has consistently made it clear that he is proud to be American and of his Mexican heritage.
Sanchez, who was once considered a top NFL prospect, has gone through lots of ups and downs (mostly downs) in his six-year — soon to be seven — career. Despite the setbacks, there are fans who continue to support Sanchez, many of them Latino. In an effort to get in touch with his roots, Sanchez, who is a third-generation Mexican-American, says he’s been studying Spanish.
According to the Associated Press, Sanchez tests out his Spanish with one of the Denver Broncos team chefs. “I try to talk to him as much as I can about whatever I can, whether it’s ordering food or just asking questions about his family and listening to what he says and asking him more questions just to continue to practice,” Sanchez told the AP.
He also showed off a bit of his español to the Associated Press. In a recently-released video, Sanchez explains he’s improving his Spanish to connect with his Latino fans: “Ellos me apoyan muchísimo, y son los mas leales del mundo — de los aficionados — y quiero decir gracias por su apoyo.”