Latinos in American Football

Pathbreakers on the Gridiron, 1927 to Present


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About the Book

In 1927 Cuban national Ignacio S. Molinet was recruited to play with the Frankford Yellow Jackets of the old NFL for a single season. Mexican national José Martínez-Zorrilla achieved 1932 All-American honors. These are the beginnings of the Latino experience in American Football, which continues amidst a remarkable and diversified setting of Hispanic nationalities and ethnic groups. This history of Latinos in American Football dispels the myths that baseball, boxing, and soccer are the chosen and competent sports for Spanish-surname athletes. The book documents their fascination for the sport that initially denied their participation but that could not discourage their determination to master the game.

About the Author(s)

Mario Longoria (Ph.D., University of Texas at San Antonio) a Vietnam War veteran, is retired from USAA Insurance Company and the United States Forest Service. His research interests include the Southwestern United States and Mexican-American sports history. He lives in San Antonio.

Jorge Iber is an associate dean and a professor of history at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He is the author of numerous works on the role of Latinos and Latinas in U.S. sports.

Bibliographic Details

Mario Longoria and Jorge Iber

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 379
Bibliographic Info: 38 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6886-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3668-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: Latinos/Hispanics in “American” Football 1
1. Latinos Take to the Gridiron: The 1920s–1940 15
2. Slowly Moving the Ball Down the Field: 1941–1950 59
3. The McCarthy Era and the Age of Activism: 1951–1970 104
4. Increased Numbers and Diversity at All Levels, 1971–1990 166
5. Latinos on the Gridiron from Coast to Coast, 1991–2018 241
Conclusion: The Historical Significance of Latinos on the Gridiron and Their Future in the Game 311
Chapter Notes 319
Bibliography 351
Index 363

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Trace[s] the gradual growth in Latino Americans’ participation in US football (not soccer). …Readers are introduced to many noteworthy but lesser-known Latino players, coaches, and high school teams…The bibliography is solid, packed with extensive references…This book makes a good addition to the body of research on minority issues in athletics and US sports in general….recommended”—Choice