Friday, August 5, 2011

Two Time Super Bowl Winning Coach, Tom Flores, Was Honored by National Council of La Raza Last Tuesday!

Renata Soto,  NCLR Executive Committee Member, presents Roberto Clemente Award to Tom Flores.

     Tom Flores, the first Mexican American to play quarterback for a professional football team, was honored on Tuesday, July 26, 2011, by the National Council of La Raza with its Roberto Clemente Sports Award.
     Flores, who has won four Super Bowl rings; one as a backup quarterback to Len Dawson of the Kansas City Chiefs (1970), one as an assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders (1977) and twice as the victorious head coach of the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders, 1980 and 1985, respectively, was presented the Roberto Clemente sportsman of the year at the NCLR awards ceremonies held in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, July 26, 2011. The event, was streamed live from the National Council de La Raza web site as part of the organization's four day conference.
[Tom Flores Fan Club Leadership Team includes (top, left to right, Joe Ortiz, Richard Ramirez; and below, left to right, Tom Flores and Lori Lara]

"The leadership team of the Official Tom Flores Fan Club, who nominated Tom Flores for the award, is extremely proud and excited that Tom was honored by this prestigious Latino organization," said Joe Ortiz, President of the fan club.
     "Tom Flores is one of the greatest examples and positive role models for Mexican Americans and other Latinos for the greatness he has achieved in pro football," added Ortiz. "Not only for excelling as a professional quarterback and Super Bowl winning head coach, but for his commitment to youth throughout the nation, especially as the founder of the Tom Flores Youth Foundation based out of his hometown of Sanger, California." 
     Among his many honors, the football field of Sanger High School has been named the Tom Flores Stadium. He has also been inducted into the American Football League's Hall of Fame, as well as the California Sports Hall of Fame, and has been honored by many other institutions including the City of Los Angeles. Flores praised Janet Murgia, President of the NCLR and its board for their historical leadership in advocating for Latinos. Flores who credits his parents (who came from Mexico and worked as sharecroppers during his childhood), said one of the keys to succeeding in America is basically working hard and getting a good education.

In a brief moment of levity, the normally quiet and stoic Flores pointed to one of his Super Bowl rings that he was wearing, which he won against the Washington Redskins, one of his four Super Bowl victories, where he was teasingly joking with the mostly Washington, D.C. crowd in attendance.]

“This is the ring I got for beating the Washington Redskins on Super Bowl XVIII.” On January 22, 1984, the then Los Angeles Raiders, won Super Bowl XVIII by a score of 38 to 9. A few in the crowd hissed Flores for a few seconds but then it all broke out into a raucous laughter.
     "Tom has earned every commendation he has ever received," said Ortiz. "He has also earned the right to be inducted into the National Football League's Hall of Fame. All of his fans know this; it's only the voters of the Hall of Fame who have failed to acknowledge this reality and need to give him the honor he deserves."
Joe Ortiz, tournament publicist for the Boy Scouts/Tom Flores Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament, huddles together with Jim Plunkett, former Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP, and long-time friend Tom Flores, 4 time Super Bowl winner as a player, assistant coach and twice as head coach of the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders.
     Appearing in the introductory video before Flores accepted his award, Ortiz said "My personal opinion is that when the Oakland Raiders came up with that great slogan for their football team, "A Commitment to Excellence," they had to be thinking of Tom Flores.”

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