The National Football League and its teams are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of special events during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15).
NFL teams will enhance the celebration with local efforts throughout the month including in-stadium themed elements and local community outreach in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
On September 25, when the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Chicago Bears, the team featured several Hispanic performers and mariachis on the AT&T Stadium plazas and recognized Dr. Marco Navarro as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award during pregame.
Gameday performers included Ballet Folklorico and a mariachi band, both from San Antonio, performing on stage in the East and West Plazas. The national anthem featured a parade of flags featuring representatives of each Latin American nation on the field with their country's flag and halftime featured a flag football contest with local youth teams comprised of predominantly Hispanic Youth.
The NFL's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month is very special to second year-veteran Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancer Carlos Hernandez. He was kind of enough to spend a few moments on why this is so important to him and how he is involved in the celebration.
Q: Talk about representing the Hispanic fan segment of the Dallas Cowboys and what it means to you.
CARLOS:Representing my culture and the Hispanic fan segment of the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL in general is such an honor and it feels awesome to represent the Hispanic community since it's one of the Cowboys' largest fan bases.
It's great to give a voice to the thousands of non-English speakers who are die-hard Dallas Cowboys fans! My ability not only to represent them in the organization but also to interact with them at home games is extremely special to me.
Q: The theme of this year's Hispanic Heritage Month recognition is "Feel the Orgullo." In Spanish, the word "orgullo" means pride. What does the NFL's efforts in Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
CARLOS:I think it's fantastic that the NFL is putting an effort into celebrating Hispanic heritage through special announcements, guests performers and an overall inclusion of diversity.
At the last home game against the Bears, the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium hosted a very talented group of Folklorico dancers that captivated the attention of thousands of people in the plazas. I personally grew up dancing on traditional Folklorico and Mexican dance teams, so being able to see a group of that genre at the stadium definitely made me feel at home!
Q: Talk about "Somos Cowboys" initiative and how you are involved.
CARLOS: This year I've been privileged to be able to represent the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue and the Hispanic community within the Dallas Cowboys organization through my work with "Somos Cowboys." We are currently working together on some very fun projects and interviews, so I can't wait for everyone to see all the exciting things we collaborate on this season!
Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, fans can visit NFL.com/HispanicHeritage for a look at the personal stories of Hispanic players, past and present, who have left a lasting legacy on the NFL.
See photos of the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue at the game against Chicago.