Super Bowl: A History of Latinos in the Big Game

While Latinos haven’t exactly taken the National Football League by storm, many prominent football players have made it to the big game and represented their culture and heritage in the Super Bowl.

Fox New Latino takes a look at some of the greatest and in some cases just players who made it to the big game and the impact they’ve had on the sport.

This is not a comprehensive list of all Latinos who’ve played in the Super Bowl, but a list of the bigger names and obvious participants.

Last Year

Victor Cruz and Aaron Hernandez

The New York Giants Victor Cruz has become a media sensation in his short time in the league with his Latino flair and salsa dancing.  Just last year the wide receiver won his first championship with the Giants, catching a touchdown at Super Bowl XLVI. Cruz’s mother is Puerto Rican.

The losing New England Patriots had tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is also of Puerto Rican heritage. He led the team with 67 receiving yards and also scored a touchdown for his team, though the team ended up losing.

The Legends

Tom Flores – Quarterback/Head Coach - Oakland / LA Raiders

Flores was the first Latino quarterback in the NFL and the first Latino to lead a team to a Super Bowl title.

Flores won a Super Bowl as a Kansas City Chiefs (he backed up Len Dawson), an assistant coach with the Raiders and most notably as head coach of the Raiders in Super Bowl XV and XVIII.

Flores still hasn’t been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Jim Plunkett – Quarterback - Oakland Raiders

Jim Plunkett, who is Mexican-American, won the Heisman Trophy as quarterback with Stanford University in 1970, the first Latino to win the big prize. He was the first Latino to get drafted in the 1st round selected first overall. In 1981, Plunkett led the team to his first Super Bowl win as the game’s MVP.  Three years later, he did it again.

Ted Hendricks – Linebacker – Baltimore Colts/Oakland / LA Raiders

Hendricks was born in Guatemala his mother a native of the country. He earned his Hall of Fame status in 1990. He dominated as a pass-rushing linebacker, earning eight Pro Bowl appearances and being named first-team All Pro four times. He finished with 60.5 sacks, 26 interceptions and was a member of four Super Bowl-winning teams.

Anthony Muñoz – Offensive Tackle – Cincinatti Bengals

Hall of Fame lineman Anthony Muñoz played in two Super Bowls, XVI and XXIII.  But each time his team lost to the San Francisco 49ers.

Manny Fernandez – Defensive Tackle – Miami Dolphins

Manny Fernandez played in three Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins. In Super Bowl VII he had 17 tackles as the Dolphins beat the Redskins and completed the only undefeated season of NFL history.

Joe Kapp – Quarterback – Minnesota Vikings

Kapp entered the NFL in 1967 and led the Vikings to their first division title and Super Bowl, losing to the Chiefs in Super Bowl IV.  In 1970, he made the cover of Sports Illustrated in a piece titled “The Toughest Chicano.”


Ron Rivera – Linebacker – Chicago Bears

Currently the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, Rivera was the first player of Puerto Rican heritage to play in the NFL when Chicago drafted him in 1984, and he won a Super Bowl in 1985.

Max Montoya – Cincinnati Bengals - Guard

Montoya played in two Super Bowls with the Bengals.

Tony Casillas – Defensive Tackle – Dallas Cowboys

The No. 2 overall selection in the '86 draft, Casillas was an important member of the Dallas Cowboys, during their back-to-back Super Bowl championships.

Roberto Garza – Center – Chicago Bears

A Mexican-American from Texas, Garza has made himself a foundation of the Chicago offense.  His Bears lost to the Indianapolis Colts in 2006.

The Kickers

Martin Gramatica – Tampa Bay Buccaneers/New Orleans Saints

Argentinean Martin Gramatica is best remembered for celebrating a meaningless field goal and tearing his ACL but he played in two Super Bowls.  Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and then in 2010 with the New Orleans Saints, in Super Bowl XLIV.  His teams won both times.

Raul Allegre – New York Giants

Mexican kicker Raul Allegre spent nine years in the NFL, playing with the Colts, Giants and Jets. In 1987, his New York Giants won Super Bowl XXI.

Eduardo Castaneda - Arizona Cardinals

The Mexican kicker played for the Arizona Cardinals where he played on their 2009 Super Bowl losing team.

Efren Herrera – Dallas Cowboys

Herrera was the Dallas Cowboys' kicker in the team's Super Bowl XII victory.

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