Victor Cruz graces the June/July 2012 cover of Latina’s Hot Guys issue, which hits newsstands and Nook newsstand on May 15th.
The New York Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl champ talks to Latina about how hardships like getting kicked out of school and off his college team, and his father’s death, along with the loving support of the strong women in his life, have made him the man he is today.
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.”
Also in the June/July 2012 issue:
- The 20 Most Wanted Latinos: Hotties from William Levy and Adam Rodriguez to Bruno Mars and Romeo Santos are profiled.
- Be Beautiful Fashion: Hottest looks for your summer cocktail pool party, the cutest summer dresses picked by Fashion Editor Verky Arcos Baldonado, and Style Diary with Boricua model Joan Smalls.
- Beauty; The Art of the Ponytail: From low and polished and high and edgy, remix your ponytail for chic and sleek summer looks.
- All Access; Music: Reggaeton’s Ivy Queen returns with a new album, a new look, and a new attitude on love.
- What’s in a Name?: How Latinos self-identify in today’s acculturated world.
- On the Menu: How to turn out an authentic Argentinean parrillada at your next cookout.
Are you excited that Victor Cruz is on the cover? Who deserves to be the next Latina cover star? Share with us in the comments.