He is the first Latino elected into the NFL Hall of Fame.  He is the classic role model.  To quote from his biography:


Munoz grew up in Ontario, California, with his two brothers and two sisters. Munoz’s mother, Esther, raised the family by herself, as Munoz’s father left the family when Munoz was very young. Although his father lived close by, Munoz only saw him twice, once when he was five and once when he was 12 years old. Munoz told Jay Greenberg of Sports Illustrated, “I never had a father, so I never knew what I was missing. As I look back, I don’t even know if I was poor. We were provided for, but we didn’t have any extras.” Although his family didn’t have a car, they were fortunate enough to have relatives who did; his aunt and uncle often took Munoz out to dinner.  1.


From these very humble beginnings he was able to pull himself up from his bootstraps and become one of the all-time football offensive tackles.  According to the National Football League Hall of Fame website, he was selected eleven straight times to the pro-bowl as a Cincinnati Bengal.  He played in two Super Bowls losing twice to the San Francisco 49’ers.  


In an interview with ESPN on October 5, 2007 he was asked of the impact of being Hispanic:  

ESPN.com: Did you encounter any resistance when you played because you were Hispanic?
Munoz: It was not an issue. I come from a relatively huge family. There was a lot of support and encouragement. I think it was just a matter of being successful. They [teams] looked at me as a football player. At least in my experience with a Hispanic family, they kind of rally around you with the attitude of let’s do it, and we are all behind you. A lot of athletes don’t like being characterized by their race. Some Hispanic footballs players might want to be known as just a football player and not a Hispanic football player.

ESPN.com: Is that the case with you?
Munoz: The thing with me is I don’t shy away from being a role model. Some guys don’t like being role models and they don’t like to be characterized as a Hispanic football player. I look at myself as a role model for all young people and am thankful that I am part of the Hispanic community. I want to use the platform to the fullest. 

In a world that is always looking for heroes, we have heroes all around us.  All we have to do is look.  They are there.  As is Anthony Munoz.

1.      (Credits:  <a href=”http://biography.jrank.org/pages/3408/Munoz-Anthony-1958-Former-Professional-Football-Player-Young-Athlete.html”>Anthony Munoz: 1958—: Former Professional Football Player – A Young Athlete</a>

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