NFL’s first Hispanic player paved the way for today’s league

Ignacio Saturnino “Lou” Molinet first played in 1927

Ignacio Saturnino “Lou” Molinet, the first Hispanic player in the NFL
Ignacio Saturnino “Lou” Molinet, the first Hispanic player in the NFL (Courtesy of Pro Football Hall of Fame Archives)

ORLANDO, Fla. – This year, Hispanic Heritage month coincided with the start of the National Football League’s season.

The regular season kicked off Sept. 9 and six days later, we began honoring Hispanic Heritage Month.

A little-known fact about the NFL’s Hispanic history is that the first Hispanic player took the field nearly a century ago.

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Ignacio Saturnino “Lou” Molinet played for the Frankford Yellow Jackets during the 1927 season, according to Pro Football Hall of fame.

Born in Chaparra, Cuba, Molinet is the first Cuban and Latin American recorded to have played in the NFL.

His parents traveled to Cuba from Spain.

According to his contract, which was donated to the hall of fame by his family, Molinet was paid $50 per game and played a total of nine games for the Yellow Jackets that season.

Prior to joining the NFL, Molinet earned four varsity letters playing basketball and football while attending Cornell University, according to the hall of fame.

Ignacio Saturnino “Lou” Molinet's 1927 contract (Courtesy of Pro Football Hall of Fame Archives)

About the Author:

Robert Brown is the assignment manager at News 6. He joined the team in July 2018 as a producer and was promoted in 2020. Before moving to The City Beautiful, he spent six years in Jacksonville at WJXT-TV. Robert graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism.