George Lopez was recently selected by the Oakland Raiders to light the Al Davis torch prior to the Raiders versus Patriots matchup in Mexico City on Sunday. This tradition was originally started in memory of the team owner, Mark’s father’s passing in 2011. Many different people have previously had the honor of lighting this torch. However, having George Lopez, who is of Mexican heritage, is a crucial step in the right direction in order to show the camaraderie between Mexico and the United States.
As most people know, Mexico’s relationship with the United States has recently been tested. With Trump’s comments surrounding Mexico and the quality of its people, there’s no wonder that the relationship between Mexico and the United States of America is a bit strained. Along with this, George Lopez was a good selection to light the torch for other reasons as well. He has a personal connection to the Raiders, stemming from the Immaculate Reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 23, 1972. George states,
“In my grandmother’s living room, ironing and watching the game. I remember the first time I saw Ray Guy punt. He created hang time for punters.” George Lopez, who is a well known actor and comedian, has a good amount of the hispanic audience of the United States. He believed that having been asked to light the torch was an honor and he was very excited to be a part of that honor.