California Latino Legislators Call for Tom Flores to Finally be Inducted into the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame

Monday, February 1, 2021

First NFL Latino Quarterback, First Minority Head Coach, General Manager, and 4-Time Super Bowl Winner Deserves Long Overdue Recognition

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia presenting HR 13 (2021)

(Sacramento, CA) – California Latino Legislators are urging the Hall of Fame Coach Committee to finally induct National Football League (NFL) legend, Tom Flores, into the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame. On Monday, February 1, Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), and Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) jointly presented Assembly House Resolution 13 reinforcing support for Flores before the inductee decisions are made. The California State Assembly voted to approve the resolution with overwhelming support.

 

Flores, who was born into a humble farmworker family in California’s Central Valley, became the first Latino quarterback, Latino head coach, and Latino president/general manager in the NFL. During his career he won four Super Bowls; two as head coach for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders in 1980 and 1983, one as assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders in 1976, and another as a player for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1970. 

 

Of the thirteen coaches in the NFL’s history to win two or more championships, Flores is one of only four who have not yet been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with George Seifert, Mike Shanahan, and Tom Coughlin. Flores and fellow NFL legend Mike Ditka are the only two people in the National Football League’s history to win a Super Bowl as player, assistant coach, and head coach. 

 

Community support for the induction of Tom Flores has been growing throughout California. Several city councils have recently weighed in support of Flores’ induction by approving resolutions, including Los Angeles, Fresno, Huron, and Flores’ hometown of Sanger, California. Coors Light has even launched a full-fledged media campaign backing Tom Flores' Hall of Fame bid with commercials spotlighting Flores' accomplishments.

 

“Tom Flores has broken barriers throughout his career, overcoming adversity to accomplish many firsts for Latinos in the NFL. After a lifetime of outstanding accomplishments, Flores has more than earned his spot in the Hall of Fame and should be inducted this year, without delay,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella). “Tom Flores is a living NFL legend and a true inspiration for Latino youth and families across our nation. With this resolution, my colleagues and I want to show that California State leaders stand in support of Flores and declare that representation matters across the board, including in the professional sports world.”

 

Garcia went on to share, “I am proud that Tom 'The Iceman' Flores now calls our Coachella Valley community home.”

 

Members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus agree that Flores accomplishments have been unduly passed up and that recognition for this Latino football legend is long overdue. To strengthen statewide advocacy efforts, the Caucus plans to issue a letter of support.

 

“Tom Flores undoubtedly deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame," said Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. "His professional career has been defined by breaking down barriers to Latinos in American football, both as a player and as a coach. And while he has been looked upon as a trailblazer in the Latino community, his record on its own, regardless of his background, is Hall of Fame-worthy. He is an inspiration to young people all over about where hard work and consistency can take you. This is the year for Tom's long-overdue induction to the Hall of Fame.”

 

“Flores’ life story stands as a testament of strength, resilience, and hard work,” said Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles). “This year we can make sure his historic accomplishments in professional sports as the first head coach of color to ever win a Super Bowl are given the recognition they deserve.”

 

“The word ‘trailblazer’ is meant for leaders like Tom Flores. His many achievements – including being the first Latino head coach in the NFL and the first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl – are historic and impressive. His induction into the NFL Hall of Fame is long overdue,” stated Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno).

 

“The people of Fresno County are proud Tom Flores is one of us, and we hope this is the year that he finally joins the other legends in the Hall. As the son of Mexican farmworkers, he was born in and grew up in Sanger, then played quarterback for Fresno City College before setting on his remarkable path toward greatness. He has been an exemplary role model not just for the Latino community but for any young person pursuing a dream through hard work, dignity, and determination.”

 

New inductees are expected to be announced the first weekend of February prior to the Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

 

To read the full text of Assembly House Resolution 13: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220HR13