He is the only player on both teams to come from Latin America .
Rakeem is one of the few representatives of the Latin American community in the NFL. / Photo: All-Pro Reels
LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño
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Leer en español: Este es el único representante de Latinoamérica en el SuperBowl
His name may not be the best known, but at this moment, Rakeem Nuñez Roches has an important role: he is the only representative of Latin America in the Super Bowl. The Buccaneers' defensive tackler was born in 1993, in Dangriga, Belize, located in the extreme northwest of Central America. Rakeem went to the University of Southern Mississippi and in 2015 he entered the NFL.
Rakeem is one of the few representatives of the Latin American community in the NFL, which is very strange because in recent years this league has made some efforts to support this community. (Readers will remember last year's criticized halftime show, which featured both Shakira and Jennifer Lopez on stage.) Additionally, the marked popularity of American football in countries like Mexico also makes us reflect on the lack of representatives of our region in professional American football.
#Espectáculos @JLo deslumbró el estadio del #SuperBowl con su presentación en el #HalftimeShow. Para muchos no solo se trató de un espectáculo; la #NFL trató de visibilizar la importancia de los latinos en #EstadosUnidos pic.twitter.com/3b4hvspTwT— Noticias Énfasis (@enfasisnoticias) February 3, 2020
And is that the problem of Latino representation in this league is really serious. In January 2020, Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald wrote an article in which she left this worrisome statistic: Only 16 of the 1696 players in the league that year were Hispanic.
So Rakeem, in the Buccaneers' defensive lineup, will have to be our sole representative this time, as the Kansas City Chiefs don't have a single Latino player. But how does it play?
It seems to be an important part of his team's defensive lineup. In a 2020 interview, Todd Bowles, his team's defensive coordinator, commented that “he's always the first to stretch, he's always the loudest in training on the field. He gets the other guys going and it's been a pleasure having him around. It's been great, I can't say enough good things about him. "
The truth is that at 1.88 meters and weighing 139 kg, anyone would be afraid of being tackled by Rakeem. The position in which he plays is also recognized for being the one that most needs size and especially muscle. It's a key role that sometimes doesn't shine as bright as a quarterback or running back, but is still important.
Super Bowl 55 will take place in Tampa, Florida, at the home of the Buccaneers. Considering Tom Brady's strong 6-3 record at this event, the Bucs have a very real chance of winning. However, do not forget that they face the champion of last year, so it will be a very interesting and exciting event to watch.