Despite being only one of two people to ever win a championship ring as a player, assistant coach and coach, Raiders NFL legend Tom Flores has yet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Latino community is making sure he isn’t overlooked again. He was nominated by the Hall of Fame’s Coach Committee to be a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is the only coach finalist for the class of 2021.
Flores has been nominated numerous times, most recently in 2019, but was not selected. His career spans over six decades and includes two major NFL teams, the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks. His career wins total trails only one other player in franchise history, Hall of Famer John Madden.
His parents were field workers in central California, and despite his humble beginnings’ obstacles most people of color face in the world, Flores became the first Latino starting quarterback in professional football, the first Latino head coach, and the first coach of color to win a Super Bowl. The Mexican American coach was only the second Latino coach in the National Football League and first to win a Super Bowl.
The Latino community is rallying behind Flores, and is not letting him go overlooked once more. The California Latino Legislative Caucus have called for Flores to “finally” be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Tom Flores has broken barriers throughout his career, overcoming adversity to accomplish many firsts for Latinos in the NFL. After a lifetime of outstanding accomplishments, Flores has more than earned his spot in the Hall of Fame and should be inducted this year, without delay,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella). “Tom Flores is a living NFL legend and a true inspiration for Latino youth and families across our nation. With this resolution, my colleagues and I want to show that California State leaders stand in support of Flores and declare that representation matters across the board, including in the professional sports world.”
The fact that he has been left out this long despite having a record that compares to one of the supposed greats of football, John Madden, should make anyone question why it has taken this long for Flores to receive serious consideration.
Here’s hoping that this weekend, we all wake up to recognize Flores with the honor he has long deserved.