It is a well known fact that Hispanics are the fastest growing minority segment living in the U.S. The current demographic shift has not only changed the make up of the population it has also changed the profile of sports in America.
A recent ESPN Sports Poll pronounced soccer as America’s second-most popular sport for those age 12-24, surpassing the NBA, MLB and college football.
Three soccer players — Lionel Messi (16th), David Beckham (20th), and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (24th) — rank among the 50 most popular athletes in America.
Argentinean Superstar Lionel Messi ranks ahead of Dwyane Wade and only two baseball players, Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter, are ahead of him.
Boxing is another sport that has a wide appeal to Latinos. So much so that the two biggest dates for boxing pay-per-views coincide with the Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day holidays in the months of May and September respectively.
The UFC’s current Heavyweight Champion Cain Velazquez wears his “Brown Pride” tattoo on his chest in honor of his Mexican-American heritage.
Latino athletes are not only conquering the professional sports at world championship level but locally our Latino athletes are succeeding as well.
This week’s feature is an exclusive interview with University of Iowa’s and NCAA National Wrestling Champion Anthony Ramos.
Another one of our features for this week is Los Primos Running a group of cousins that motivate each other to compete at local races for fitness, fun and family.
The young amateur talents from all our local boxing clubs are frequently featured on our newspaper, web site, TV show and social media.
Next Wednesday May 28 we will have a special feature on Hola America TV on current Iowa Golden Gloves and Junior Olympics Champion Ashley Landa.
Locally, Mexican soccer league includes the most diverse group of players; they have players from every continent in the world. Players come from places like Senegal, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Liberia, England, Ireland, Korea, China, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, USA, and many more.
At the world, national and more importantly at the local level Latinos are definitely changing the dynamics of American sports by confronting and conquering such issues of the past as racial segregation/integration, inclusion, Latina athletes, and community unity.
Pictured Jessica Aguilar, World Series of Fighting Strawweight Women’s Champion