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Carolina coach Ron Rivera wants to be role model for Latinos

Carolina coach Ron Rivera wants to be role model for Latinos

Posted by PanamericanWorld on February 03, 2016

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera says that one of things motivating him to guide his team to victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 is a desire to be a role model for Latinos.

Rivera, of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, becomes the second Latino head coach to go to the Super Bowl after Tom Flores, who won two Super Bowls with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.

That tends to impose and extra sense of responsibility on Rivera, who Monday night during the Super Bowl 50 Opening Night media event was categorical in saying he has a total commitment to the Hispanic community and in that sense is very aware of what he signifies in the NFL.

"I think it's great. I really do appreciate the fact that I'm a role model (for the Latino community) and I take that very seriously," Rivera told reporters. "I've had the opportunity to go back to my hometown and speak at a graduation. The one thing that I try to tell is, don't let anybody tell you no. Whatever you want, whatever you dream your dream is, go out and get it."

Rivera also praised his parents for helping him get where he is today. "Everything that I am and everything that I've grown up to become is because of them," he said.

Rivera mentions Flores as one of the idols of his youth.

"I was one of those guys who just really enjoyed watching the game. I loved a lot of them. When you talk about me and my Hispanic heritage, it was Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett, guys like that, Roman Gabriel. Guys I could look up to and really aspire to be like them."

Plunkett, the son of Mexican-American parents of Irish, German and Native American ancestry, was the quarterback of the Raiders teams that won the Super Bowl under the direction of Flores.

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