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Ahead of the Chargers Latino Heritage Game this Sunday, Chargers.com chatted with cornerback Michael Davis.
Thank you for taking the time. Before I get into everything, how are you feeling in Year 7? Time flying for you?
“Yeah, it did fly by. I’m feeling blessed man, Year 7. Like I said, I feel blessed to be here.”
With Latino Heritage Month here, we wanted to just kind of get into the topic with you about your background. To start, how important is this month for representation and what does it mean in your eyes?
“For me, it’s not just a month, it’s like every day. I grew up Mexican, so I am Mexican. I grew up Mexican and Black and for me, Latino Heritage is every day and I’m proud of that because that’s who I am. I’m proud of the people, proud of everything. Just try to represent the people.”
If you were to use one word to describe what it means for you to be Mexican, what would it be?
“Either fighter or resilient.”
Why is that?
“Because I feel like there’s always so much against Latinos and we’re always trying to play catch up sometimes. That’s what I think, fighter and resilient.”
I’ve read that your mother had a big impact on you instilling the Mexican culture and background. How important was that for you growing up in shaping you to who you are today? What did you take from it the most that you carry today?
“It’s important for me what my mom did from an early age because I guess as a parent, you have to be able to teach your kids what you are, like what your heritage is. I think the way it shaped me was just always being the underdog. Like I said, playing from behind, the underdog and trying to shine. Try to prove them wrong.”
Looking back at trips you would take to Mexico when you were younger, what were some of the biggest things you took from them? Do you have any core memories from those trips?
“I think my core memory would have to be my grandma’s house in Atizapán, Mexico City. Just everything. Just being at home. I’m from California and this is my home, but Mexico is my home. It’s where my roots are at. I always feel more at home in Mexico than I did [over here].”
What was your favorite aspect of them? It could be anything like spending time with family or even just being around something different than here in the US, maybe the food.
“Food, sure, but I think my favorite part about being in Mexico is going down to the little playground areas with my cousins or playing soccer with other kids, neighborhood kids.”
Do you still go back from time to time in the offseason?
“Yeah, we just went back this offseason. We were there for a few weeks, and we went to Cancun. But I go back every year.”
Football continues to grow in Mexico and other countries, but often still isn’t the first sport a lot of kids get into. How did you get into it growing up? Was it the sport you gravitated to the most?
“Growing up [in Mexico] its always soccer, or fútbol. Obviously, going to school in the States, you play flag football or ran track. And got into it there. I focused on track and football. My friends played football, I guess it was a friend thing for me, like a social thing for me like, ‘Oh, you’re going to play football, I’ll go to play football.'”
The number of players that Latino or have some connection has grown a little bit over the years, but still not a lot. How much pride do you take in that being one of the few with a Latino background?
“I take pride in it for sure. Just being a Latino in the NFL, the NFL is a bigger stage and one thing I want to show is that Latinos can do it. Like if I can do it, everybody else can do it, especially Mexicans.”
How have you hoped to inspire and serve as a role model for those with a similar background as you?
“Yeah, that’s the whole point. Try to be a role model for them. If I can do it, I can come out from Glendale, Mexican kid, single mom. If I can make it to the biggest stage, then anybody can. It’s just going to take hard work.”
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