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Meet Some of the Latino Football Players Who Made NFL History

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Before Ron Rivera became the second Latino head coach to lead a team to the Super Bowl, he was one of several Latino trailblazers in the NFL. But he wasn’t the only one! Lots of Latinos were under the radar for decades. Now’s the perfect time to look back at Latinos who made NFL history.

Tom Fears: From Guadalajara to the NFL Hall of Fame.

Fears was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to a Mexican mother and American father. Fears, who played college ball at UCLA, was a standout wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams from 1948-1956. He won the 1951 NFL championship and became the first Mexican-American enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1970.

Jim Plunkett: Tom Flores wasn’t the only Latino Raider to win rings.

Jim Plunkett was the Raiders’ star quarterback under the tutelage of Tom Flores. The Mexican-American won the Heisman Trophy at Stanford and was the 1971 No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Plunkett, who was named MVP of Super Bowl XV, embraced his status as a role model. He told ESPN: “I’m proud to be Hispanic. It’s who I am. And if it helps kids in our community around the country set goals, even better.”

Joe Kapp: “The Toughest Chicano.”

Throwback Thursday! #joekapp #minnesota #vikings #purplepeopleeaters #vintage #quarterback #tough #skol

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Kapp replaced celebrated quarterback Fran Tarkenton with the Minnesota Vikings and guided the team to its first ever playoff appearance in 1968. The following season, Kapp led the Vikings to Super Bowl IV, where they fell to the Chiefs. In 1970, Kapp graced the cover of Sports Illustrated with a caption that described him in three words: “The Toughest Chicano.”

Martin Gramatica: Super Bowl-winning kicker.

Martin Gramatica was the first Argentinian to win the Vince Lombardi trophy after his Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. Gramatica also made it to the Pro Bowl in 2001, where he represented the Bucs on team NFC.

Wait! Martin was not the only Gramatica to kick in the NFL.

Guillermo “Bill” Gramatica, the younger brother of Martin, spent four seasons in the NFL with the Cardinals, Giants and Dolphins. Unfortunately, he’ll always be remembered as the kicker who got injured while celebrating.

Ouch. That celebration didn’t just hurt his pride – it led to a torn ACL.

READ: The Latino Announcers for the Carolina Panthers are Insane and Everyone Loves them For It

Ted Hendricks: The Guatemalan with four rings.

Ted Hendricks was a defensive force for the Baltimore Colts from 1969-1973. The linebacker won Super Bowl V with the Colts and later captured three more with the Raiders. Hendricks, who was born to a Guatemalan mother and American father, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.

Steve Van Buren: Honduras’ punishing halfback.

Steve Van Buren was a five-time first-team All-Pro with the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1940s. Van Buren, who was born in Honduras, won three consecutive rushing titles from 1947-49 and went into the Hall of Fame in 1965. Van Buren’s regular season record of 18 touchdowns with the Eagles wasn’t broken until 2011, when LaSean McCoy 20 touchdowns.

READ: The Son of Mexican Field Workers, Tom Flores Became the First Latino Coach to Win a Super Bowl

Efren Herrera: From soccer player to Super Bowl champ.

Herrera, who was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, moved to the US as a young boy. He didn’t know anything about football until the football coach from his high school, La Puente High, saw him kicking a basketball into a soccer net. Herrera joined the football team as a kicker and eventually earned a football scholarship to UCLA. Herrera played for several NFL teams in the ’70s and ’80s, but his career year was 1978. Herrera helped the Dallas Cowboys win Super Bowl XII and was also named to the Pro Bowl.

Anthony Muñoz: The king of the trenches.

Anthony Muñoz is regarded as arguably the greatest offensive lineman in NFL history. He spent 13 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he earned 11 Pro Bowl appearances and was named to nine first-team All-Pro squads. Muñoz is a member of the 1980s All-Decade team and went into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Riverboat Ron: From Super Bowl shuffle to dabbing in the big game.

Ron Rivera has a Super Bowl ring from his days as a ferocious linebacker for the Chicago Bears. Rivera, who is of Puerto Rican and Mexican descent, spent nine seasons with the Bears and won it all in 1985 with arguably the greatest team in NFL history.

Did you know there were so many Latinos in the NFL? Click on the share button below to send to your friends!

Victoria Cruz Sees Hope For The Future Of LGBTQ+ Rights 50 Years After She Witnessed The Stonewall Riots

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Victoria Cruz Sees Hope For The Future Of LGBTQ+ Rights 50 Years After She Witnessed The Stonewall Riots

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The history of Gay Rights in the country date back to the late ’60s and the epicenter was Manhattan. The core fighters of the LGBTQ community include Marsha P. Johnson, Scott G. Brown, Sylvia Rivera, and a slew of other pioneers. The sad thing is this generation has passed or will very soon, which is why we have to honor their legacy while they’re still alive. One of those people is an inspiring person in our Latinx community.

Victoria Cruz, who is in her 70s, is a survivor of the Stonewall Riots and is still very much a part of the fight for LGBTQ rights.

Instagram/@marinadelbey

Cruz, who was born in Puerto Rico, is one of 11 children that grew up in New York. While Cruz was born a male, she knew since she was in high school that she was a woman. Back in the ’60s, that was no easy thing to admit, yet her Puerto Rican family supported her transition.

While her family and close community were supportive, Cruz faced immense hardships including harassment from the police, and later in the ’90s, she was assaulted.

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Four of her coworkers physically assaulted her, which left her in ruins.

“I was very angry. Very angry,” Cruz said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2017. “The worst part of it is that I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me, and added that she was “was contemplating suicide,” at the time.

But she overcame that tough time and is recognized as a leader in the movement for Gay Rights.

Yet, despite the hate and violence she faced, Cruz pushed on standing up for her LGBTQ+ family.

“I used to go to St. Vincent’s on my lunch hour…and I would see her,” Cruz told The Advocate. “She called to me, ‘Victoria, come here.’ And she always called me Dickie, you know, so when she said, ‘Victoria come here,’ I knew that she meant business. I sat down, and she looked at me. She said, ‘Try to keep the community together because we are our own worst enemy. And there’s power in numbers.’ And then she said, ‘The world will come up to try to divide us, and when you divide a community, you conquer it. So try to keep the community together.’”

As a trans woman and pioneer of the LGBTQ movement, Cruz said positive change is happening right now.

Instagram/@florentinoreyes

“I’m optimistic, and I’m hopeful that it will change for the better,” she told The Advocate. “There’s power in numbers. If we unite and keep united, we can make the future different, and what we want it to be. By galvanizing one another, we galvanize each other. And with the same frame of mind, the same frame of thought, we can change what’s happening.”

Trans rights are the new frontier in the LGBTQ+ movement. Despite the contributions made to the movement by trans women of color, cis members of the LGBTQ+ community ignore their plight or add to the harassment.

“There is so much hatred directed toward queer people, particularly transgender women of color. For what? Why? I think it may be about people’s own insecurities about their own identities and sexualities. And further, people don’t know their history,” Cruz told BC/Stories. “The transgender experience isn’t new. It’s as old as the human experience, and anyone who does their research would know this. I think society needs to be educated, and maybe after being educated, empathy will follow.”

READ: Zuri Moreno Made Sure The Trans Community In Montana Remained Safe

Keds Latest Designs Proves That Avoiding Cultural Appropriation In Fashion Is Totally Possible

Culture

Keds Latest Designs Proves That Avoiding Cultural Appropriation In Fashion Is Totally Possible

Keds

It’s always really cool to see a big name brand embrace the art of our Latinidad. It’s like a nod to all of the great Latinx artisans who add beauty and color to our culture. In fact, seeing consumers enthusiastically welcome these goods feels like further validation. With this in mind, it makes this new collaboration all the sweeter for us art and fashion lovers.

Keds is collaborating with designers Thelma Dávila and Lolita Mia on a line inspired by the Latina-created brands.

Instagram / @Keds

In what the shoe company is calling a “collaboration fiesta,” Keds released three fun and vibrant new designs.

Some of the shoes borrow inspiration from Thelma Dávila’s colorful Guatemalan textiles. Alternatively, other pairs utilize Lolita Mia’s festive fringe as embellishments. These touches combine with Keds’ original platform shoes to make a unique product.

Of the partnership with these new brands, Keds’ website says:

“It’s so rewarding to be able to be a part of the professional and personal growth of women who decided to follow their dreams. Entrepreneurs (especially female ones) are always brave, they’re risk-takers that believe strongly in themselves. And we believe in them too. We’re so excited to introduce you to our latest for-women-by-women collaborations.”

The Thelma Dávila brand is named after its Guatemalan founder.

Keds

The company specializes in designing and crafting unique pieces by hand. Furthermore, their products utilize Guatemalan textiles, leathers and non-leather materials. Obviously, this collaboration is built on a solid relationship between the two brands. Since last year, Keds retail locations have carried Thelma Dávila bags and products in stores.

On their website, Keds said the design collaborations were intent on “taking geometric design and color cues from [Dávila’s] native culture, our classic Triple Kick gets transformed into a fiesta-ready standout.”

Founded by jewelry artisan and entrepreneur, Elena Gil, Lolita Mia is a Costa Rican accessory brand.

Keds

While studying abroad in Italy, Gil made a significant personal discovery. She realized that ethnic crafts and traditions were very alike across regions. Specifically, they were similar in cultural importance. In light of this, she decided to start her own brand. Lolita Mia’s handmade products embrace what Gil has coined a “Universal Ethnic Luxury.”

Of the collaboration with Lolita Mia, Keds’ website reads:

“[The] aesthetic shines through in these playful renditions of our platforms in the form of fun, festive fringe and punchy tropical shades.”

The Ked × Lolita Mia collaboration has two designs while the Ked x Thelma Dávila collab is made up of one.

Instagram / @lolitamiacr

“Triple Tassel” is a multicolored platform with purple, pink, orange and white tassels attached to the laces. “Triple Decker Fringe” is an off-white platform slip-on with multi-colored fringe and golden embellishments on top. The “Triple Kick” features a neutral platform with Guatemalan textile accents around the bottom.

Each design is priced at $70 a pair. Moreover, they are available exclusively on Keds’ website. Be sure to order yours today and add a little extra Latinx flare to your summer looks.

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