Yesterday evening I opened my mailbox and who did I see on the cover of my Latina magazine? Victor Cruz! American football wide receiver for the New York Giants. Cruz, who was born to an African-American father and Puerto Rican mother covers the June/July 2012 Latina’s Hot Guys issue. In the issue Cruz, 25, talks about the strong women in his life and his father’s death. Check out excerpts from his interview in “Latina” below.
On how his mother and sports kept him out of trouble as a boy in New Jersey: Blanca, Cruz’s mother, was so strict and kept him so involved in sports Cruz was “too tired to run the streets.”
On being Puerto Rican: Grandmother Lucy Molina “…taught me how to be Puerto Rican…She was stern, she was confident, and my mother was the same way. [She] never took no for an answer, never took anything for granted, never took anything lightly. I think Puerto Ricans are like that.”
Cruz’s girlfriend, Elaina Watley, on Cruz getting kicked out of school and his football scholarship, twice, at the University of Massachusetts from partying too hard, sleeping late, and skipping classes: Watley “…screamed at him like crazy…I told him, ‘Get up, get up, get up…But it was his drive, his motivation. He could have given up at any time, but he didn’t. His heart is good. He isn’t perfect, but he’ll always do the right thing.’”
On his father’s suicide: “I was angry; I didn’t understand why he would do that or why he wouldn’t come to one of us or call. He understood me as a person, understood everything I thought of before I even thought of it. Him passing away was definitely rough for me.”
On being passed over in the 2010 NFL draft post-graduation: “I knew that I didn’t go to a big school, wasn’t six-foot-five-inches tall, wasn’t this phenom of a person physically. I knew that I would have to earn a spot on a team. I knew that once I got my opportunity, I had to take advantage of it and show people why I belong in the NFL.”
On representing his Latino culture: Cruz says being one of only a handful of Latino football pros was always on his mind, hence his now famous post-touchdown salsa dance. “I’d do it to show her [his grandmother] that I’m not scared to represent my culture. Then it got bigger and bigger, I felt like every Latin person was out there with me on that field.”
Latina’s latest issue hits stands May 15th!
Latest posts by Raquel (see all)
- Meet Elza, Latinx Multidisciplinary Artist & Instructor - February 4, 2019
- Meet Kleaver Cruz, Founder of The Black Joy Project - October 8, 2018
- Things You Shouldn’t Say or Do When Your Friend is Going Through A Divorce - October 1, 2018