Latino commentators redefine sports talk

Latino commentators redefine sports talk

(BPT) – Sports mean many things to many people, and for the three hosts of the new program Naci?n ESPN, sports also create some of their most profound life-defining moments. For Marly Rivera, it's a sense of identity and community. For Bernardo Osuna, it’s a passion that spans three generations. And for Jorge Sedano, it's a return to the fond memories of childhood and the unity everyone feels.

"I grew up in a large family where sports connected us, and where athletes of Puerto Rican heritage were adored," Rivera says. "No matter what sport they participated in -- boxing, judo, tennis, baseball, etc. -- and whether you were born on the island or had a great-great grandmother of Puerto Rican heritage, we would root for you."

Osuna's passion is family born as well, though he admits his family loves one sport above all others. "My passion for boxing was born before I was, as my father told my pregnant mother that I would be born on a Saturday Fight NighHealth & Fitnesst and that I would be a flyweight fighter," he remembers. "I was born on a Saturday and although I am way above 112 pounds, I am blessed to make a living covering the sport which my father and my grandfather's love so much."

Boxing is just one of a plethora of sports the trio discuss on Naci?n ESPN, a program appealing to young, bilingual U.S. Hispanic sports fans. The program is a fusion of the two Emmy Award-winning shows, SportsNation and Naci?n ESPN on ESPN Deportes. Each episode discusses the hot-button topics dominating the sports world, and guests are free to appear on the show and speak in the language they prefer, whether it’s English or Spanish.

Sedano, who also hosts ESPN Radio's Jorge & Izzy, says the back-and-forth is one of his favorite aspects of Naci?n ESPN. "There is something about discussing games that lets you still be that kid who grew up loving, playing and arguing," he says. "What can I say... I enjoy a good argument too." However, Sedano does caution that Naci?n ESPN is more than just a bilingual sports program, it's a bicultural show as well. "It's important to be bicultural," Sedano says, "because it allows Hispanics to relate and it doesn't alienate other cultures. That's what the makeup of the country is and what it should strive to be."

Osuna agrees. "Naci?n ESPN is a unique show with diverse perspectives," he says. "Our bilingual sports program reflects America today. We may not all be bilingual, but the majority of us are bicultural. We all come from different backgrounds and can find common ground through sports."

Naci?n ESPN appears every Monday night on ESPN2, and you can learn more about the program on ESPN.com and ESPNDeportes.com. Fans can also catch the show through ESPN podcasts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Each show features unique discussion points while delivering on the passion that sports bring out in all of us.

"Sports are the complete package," Rivera says. "They provide entertainment, escape, fun, learning and most of all, they occasionally provide you with a sense that you have witnessed something so special that you will remember it for the rest of your life."


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