How Miami Sports Embrace Latino Culture and Latino Fans

Florida as a whole may be stereotyped as a place where the elderly come to soak up the sun in their later years.

Miami · Publicado el: 8 enero, 2024

You will already know this, as it is hardly a secret that Miami has a sizeable Latin population. Florida as a whole may be stereotyped as a place where the elderly come to soak up the sun in their later years. But Miami is known for its music, food, and culture – and most of that is, at the very least, Latino-influenced.

It is, therefore, unsurprising that the sports teams from the area also show off a lot of Latin vibes. Whether it is the fans or the players – or even the games and events themselves – Miami is like a Latin city transposed into the US. Sports betting in Florida is all about Latin players scoring points for Miami teams and long may it continue.

As we start off, hopefully, a year of sports championships in Miami, we thought we would take a look at just how Latin culture has influenced and embedded itself into Miami sports over the years – and some of the athletes that have embraced the unique style of the city.

Miami is Built on Hispanic Culture

Latin American and Spanish-speaking sports athletes have been drawn to Miami for decades – and it is not difficult to work out why. Go to any public place in the city, including the sports fields and stadiums, and you will hear Spanish being spoken. According to the US Census, almost 70% of the population in Miami-Dade County identify as Hispanic.

Ever since the revolution in 1959, Cubans have been relocating to the US – and Miami is usually their first and final port of call. Other nationalities have joined them over the years, including Venezuelans and Guatemalans. Latino people from all over the world instantly feel at home in Miami and that community has grown in all facets of life here, including sports.

Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated all across the US from the middle of September to the middle of October every year. But no place in the country celebrates quite like Miami. With so many different Hispanic cultures living in one place, it is the place to come for a joyous experience.

Sports teams obviously celebrate just as much as everyone else. There are other specifically Mexican or Cuban events as well. But Hispanic Heritage Month gives sports teams the chance to give back to the fans that identify as much. Special giveaways and food are typically on offer and everyone is always welcome.

Miami Open Latin Vibes

Although tennis is played all over the world, there are no Grand Slams or big events held in Latin America. That is why the Miami Open regularly turns into a de facto Latin tournament where players from across South America feel right at home, thanks to the exuberant fans.

Although the Latin diaspora turns out in their numbers across Europe and Australia as well, Latin players have repeatedly stated just how comfortable they feel in Miami. That’s down to being able to eat the food and taste the drinks that they are used to from their homelands. Miami always puts on a good show when it comes to tennis.

The Heat’s Jaime Jaquez Jr.

The NBA is known as a diverse league but there are still surprisingly few players of Hispanic heritage and interviews conducted in Spanish are relatively rare. But Miami Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. is doing his best to change that. The former UCLA guard signed for the Heat this season and is beginning to cause a Mexican sensation.

Jaquez Jr. is of Mexican heritage and has been able to form a growing band of fans who are attracted to him for his background as well as his skills. With only three Mexican-born players in the NBA, there are few chances for Mexican fans to feel some national pride. But Miami’s Spanish-speaking fans are starting to bring some Latino style to the league.

Kiko Alonso Found His Latin Roots as a Dolphin

Jaquez Jr. is not the first sports athlete to be blown away by the Latin culture of Miami and its teams’ fans. Kiko Alonso played in the NFL for ten years and the longest time he was in any one place was in Miami. Part of the reason for that is how at home he felt with the city’s Latino culture.

Alonso has a father who was ethnically Cuban from Puerto Rico and a Colombian mother and saw signing for the Dolphins as a chance to reconnect with the Latin culture of his family. With few Latino players in the NFL, Miami was the best place for Alonso to immerse himself in the lifestyle of his ancestors.

Latino players and fans find a little slice of home in Miami

Lionel Messi at Inter Miami

He is widely regarded as the best soccer player on the planet and when he announced that he would be leaving Spanish club Barcelona, he would have had the choice of any team he wanted to continue his career. Many pundits were surprised when he chose Miami – especially with many of the big stars making a jump for the money to Saudi Arabia. But it was an easy decision for Messi.

The Argentina international sensation already owned property in Florida and the attraction of living in a Latino city and becoming the biggest player in a new league was obvious. Winning the club its first-ever trophy within months of arriving certainly kept the fans on side and now Messi will be looking forward to his first full season in the US and hopefully adding more silverware to his extensive honors list.

Miami = Latino

There is no getting away from it. Miami is essentially a Latino city. The sports teams embrace that fact and the fans are overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking. All of this makes it possibly the best place to watch or play sports in the US. Not that we are biased, of course!

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