LULAC Salutes Former Oakland Raiders Coach Tom Flores
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Celebrates His Induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today congratulated 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Tom Flores. Coach Flores is a multiple Super Bowl winner and a pioneer who achieved what no other Latino has before him, both on the field and at the helm as president and general manager of an NFL franchise.
“LULAC is proud to join millions of Raiders and other pro football fans in celebrating Coach Flores for this very special achievement,” says Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “It’s an honor long overdue for a man nominated previously and whose lifetime has contributed so much to the excitement of the game,” he added.
Flores began playing football when he was in high school in Sanger, California, 190 miles south of Oakland, the city where he would one day make his mark in pro sports history. He went on to play at the University of Pacific in Stockton, California before being recruited to the America Football League in 1960 by the Oakland Raiders. He played a total of 106 games with 68 starts during his career, including 84 games and 64 starts with the Raiders.
In 1970, Flores won his first championship ring as backup quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV. Following his playing career, Flores returned to the Oakland Raiders as an assistant coach and won another ring in 1977 in Super Bowl XI. When Coach John Madden retired, Flores became pro football’s first Latino head coach and led the Oakland Raiders to victory in 1981 in Super Bowl XV and the Los Angeles Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII in 1984.
“We extend our gratitude to Mr. C. David Baker, President and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the entire 48-member Selection Committee for inducting Coach Flores,” says Sindy Benavides, LULAC National Chief Executive Officer. “This recognition is meaningful because our contributions and accomplishments as individuals and as a group are hardly captured in our history even though Latinos are the largest and youngest minority group in the nation at 61-million strong and will double in size in just three decades. LULAC salutes Coach Flores on his accomplishments, persistence and resilience. He rose from humble beginnings in California’s Central Valley, worked hard to develop his skills and sacrificed for years to achieve his dreams. His life is an example to young Latino athletes, boys and girls alike, they can do the same if they’re willing to dedicate themselves to becoming the best at what they do,” added Benavides.
Flores will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on August 8, 2021. His reaction to being selected was captured in an exclusive interview with Raiders.com.
“We share in the joy of millions of Coach Flores’ fans who looked towards this day that has finally arrived,” says Roger C. Rocha, immediate past LULAC National President. “During my tenure, we were privileged to welcome and honor Coach Flores at our LULAC Legislative Gala and there are few people who possess both the stature of their earned recognition and the innate serene humanity brought together in such an extraordinary way. It is not difficult to see and understand how Coach Flores inspired players to accomplish athletic feats few thought possible but he drew out of each of them. This is the mark of a true leader and we are blessed to have witnessed his example,” added Rocha.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/