On Wednesday, the Broncos reached out to their Hispanic fan base with Broncos En Español, a free event that featured autographs and photos with players and alumni, along with inflatable obstacle courses and targets for the kids and karaoke.
The players in attendance were fullback Chris Gronkowski, safety Quinton Carter and guard Manny Ramirez. Also signing autographs Wednesday evening were Broncos alumni including Billy Thompson and Vance Johnson.
For Ramirez, whose parents are Mexican, it was a great opportunity to connect with people from a similar background.
“My parents are originally from Mexico so any time I get an opportunity to come out here in Colorado to support my culture, I’m always happy to do it,” Ramirez said. “Always good times.”
Ramirez said that Wednesday night reminded him of the importance of giving back to the community.
“I don’t really see myself as a role model but I know they see me as a role model at times and it just brings you down back to earth, where you truly do stand,” Ramirez said. “It’s a blessing to be in this position and I’ll do anything for the community.”
The event, which ran from 5-8 p.m., drew a large crowd that quickly filled the East United Club at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to capacity. Carter said the sight of so many people in the parking lot when he arrived was a pleasant surprise.
“It’s crazy, especially pulling up, you see all the cars,” Carter said. “The parking lot is completely full, and it’s all Hispanics. You wouldn’t know that because you’re touching a whole different fan base that you never see. It’s way bigger than I thought. I’ve done a few other things up at the stadium, but this is by far the biggest crowd.”
Ramirez, on the other hand, wasn’t the least bit surprised by the turnout.
“You’d be surprised how much the Hispanic culture, it’s really into American football,” Ramirez said. “It’s not a surprise to see how many people were out here today because that’s how our culture is — we always go in huge packs.”
Carter said he always enjoys being able to be a part of something that fans will remember.
“I think it’s really neat,” Carter said. “Some people that are fans of me, I’m fans of them. It’s crazy when you really sit back and think about it. I’m just a normal person to myself, but to the next person, you could be a life-changing experience.”