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Celebrating Latinx NFL Players in 2024

Football, being the national favorite, is that one sport which brings people of all ages, races, and genders together. The National Football League (NFL) has a huge influence on American culture, with its offshoots often being observed in fashion, art, and even food. Things like football jerseys, game nights, and designated game foods make up a major portion of the American culture now. Similarly, Latin America has a major fan base for the NFL as well which has triggered an increasing number of Latinx players appearing in the NFL.

We have compiled the best Latin players in NFL and the ones who played in the Super Bowl this year. There is no hierarchy to the players and the purpose is to highlight and celebrate the growing Latinx representation in NFL. But first, let’s discuss NFL’s popularity in Latin America.

Popularity of NFL in Latin America

There is no question about NFL’s popularity in the US. Additionally, NFL is also known to have a huge Latin fan-base. Around 31 million people out of the 62.1 million Latino population in the US are football fans. This is the reason we have been seeing more and more Latin representation in the NFL, with Brazil set to host the first-ever NFL game of Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers in South America this year.

NFL has also made conscious efforts in recent years to specially cater to its ever-increasing Latin fan base. It engages its Hispanic audience by broadcasting its games on Spanish-language networks, namely Telemundo Deportes.

One of the most recent of these efforts is its collaboration with NGL Collective in 2023, a leading Latino marketing media company to create and advertise original Spanish content. Brazil has also officially established itself as a key market for the NFL.

TV and streaming is a major source of viewership of NFL for Latin Americans. Mainstream channels like ESPN and FOX Sports broadcast NFL games for the Spanish-speaking audience and can be viewed through cable providers like Optimum. If you are in the US, you can also watch NFL matches in Spanish, on Optimum’s Español cable plans. You can contact the always available Optimum servicio al cliente 24 horas at any time of the day.

Chris Olave

As a Wide Receiver for New Orleans Saints, Chris Olave is of Cuban descent from his father’s side. Born in 2000, he has been playing football since he was young (like every other football player) before playing as a freshman at Ohio State University. During his debut season, Olave recorded three touchdowns and 12 catches for 187 yards.

He was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft in 2022 by the New Orleans Saints and still plays for them. In his rookie season, he played 72 catches with 1024 yards and a total of four touchdowns. In 2022, Chris Olave was ranked number 6 in the top rookies by the NFLPA, which immediately made him a fan favorite.

Isiah Pacheco

Pacheco plays for Kansas City Chiefs as a running back and has the nickname Pop. He is Latin from his father’s side who has Puerto Rican descent. In his senior year in high school, he led his team, the Fighting Clan, to win the Thanksgiving Day match.

In 2022, Pacheco was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the seventh round of the NFL Draft 2022. In the first week of his debut as a City Chief, he scored his first touchdown against Arizona Cardinals, on a 3-yard run. This and his overall amazing performance made him a leading scrimmage yards player. He scored 830 rushing yards and 130 receiving yards in his rookie season.

In his first two seasons, he won the Super Bowl LVII and Super Bowl LVIII and scored a touchdown in the later season of the Super Bowl. He made history for being the only running back to win two Super Bowls in his first two seasons, in the entire NFL history.

Robert Quinn

Also an Afro-Latine, Robert Quinn is half Puerto Rican from his mother’s side. He is a free agent on the defensive end and ranks as one the best pass rushers of his generation. His high school football career was halted as he underwent surgery for brain tumor. But he resumed his career as soon as he recovered completely and was ranked as the 19th best defensive end.

Quin has also been a three-time heavyweight state champion in wrestling. His college football career thrived as well and he was awarded the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award as the league’s most courageous player.

During the 2011 NFL Draft, he was considered as one of the most regarded prospects. He has a total of 102 sacks under his belt, ever since he joined NFL in 2011. He has played for St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Chicago Bears, and currently plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jon Feliciano

Having recently played as a football guard for the San Francisco 49ers, Feliciano is half-Latino (Puerto Rican) from his father’s side. Feliciano comes from humble beginnings and was homeless in his school years too.

Despite a rough start, he was considered a three-star prospect and ranked number 55 as the best offensive tackle in the country. He scored a scholarship after catching coach Tommie Robinson’s eye, to play for the University of Miami. He finished his first college season with a grade of 84% and in 2012, he became the third-best passing offense.

In his professional NFL career, he has played for the Oakland Riders, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, and San Francisco 49ers. He also appeared in the Super Bowl in 2023 while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.

Wrapping Up

These are just some of the few Latin players in the NFL. There are a lot of amazing Latin players who have consistently been making the headlines and making us Hispanics super proud. Players like Jalen Moreno-Cropper, Josh Rivas, Chris Rodriguez Jr., and Tariq Castro-Fields to name a few. The popularity of NFL in Latin America and the popularity of Latin footballers in the NFL are an ode to the growing representation of Latinx on all national fronts.

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Priyanka Chaudhary
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