BY ESTHER J. CEPEDA
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mark Sanchez. You have given a flicker of hope to all of us Hispanic moms who bemoan the fact that we weren't able to raise our kids to speak both English and Spanish.
Sanchez, the Mexican-American NFL quarterback who earlier this month signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, recently spoke about his experience of not being able to speak to his legions of Latino fans in Spanish.
"I felt a little embarrassed that I didn't know the language, number one," he explained in an interview with Mike Leslie, a reporter with Dallas' WFAA-TV. "And even more embarrassed that I couldn't communicate to the Latino population who'd been so supportive. Win, lose or draw, they're some of the best fans I've ever had. So it was something that was kind of eating away at me."
Sanchez has taken hits from those people who believe that speaking Spanish is a litmus test that definitively separates "Latinos in Name Only" from "real Latinos."
Sanchez was brought up in a household with two fluently bilingual Mexican-American parents who spoke Spanish at home. But he just didn't pick it up — and that's quite representative of many young Hispanics.