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Thursday, September 27, 2007

NFL Hall Of Famer Anthony Munoz: Signs Up To Play Offense For Phil Heimlich

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Former Bengal Anthony Munoz owns three NFL offensive lineman of the year awards, and now he's going to try to open holes in the OH-02 GOP primary that will give Phil Heimlich some running room. Heimlich landed the Latino sports star's support despite Heimlich's firm opposition to any easing of immigration laws for Hispanics who settled in the United States illegally. Munoz was born in Ontario, Cal., in 1958.

Heimlich is seeking to wrest the party's nomination from U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt next March. Munoz, who is an extremely popular figure in the Cincinnati area where he lives, has signed on to back Heimlich and will headline a fundraiser next month.

Munoz is in the NFL Hall of Fame and played for the Bengals from 1980 until his retirement in 1992. He made the Pro-Bowl 11 times during his 12-year career. After football, he started a charitable foundation that has become one of the most important organizations working with young people in Southwest Ohio. He has also dabbled in Republican politics, and served as a local leader in the 2004 Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. His alignment with Heimlich -- who is challenging a sitting member of Congress -- is a blow to Schmidt and a sign that she may have difficulty holding the allegiance of the area's top Republicans.

Munoz is Hispanic and played college ball at the University of Southern California in his native state. Heimlich got the NFL great's support even though he's no fan of legislation that would transition some of the Latino residents who immigrated illegally to U.S citizenship. Heimlich says:

"Illegal immigration is an issue of national security. Certainly, most immigrants moving illegally into the U.S. are not terrorists and are not consciously seeking to harm our nation. But our current policies allow those who seek to harm our nation to simply walk onto our soil, undetected and unaccounted for.

"I oppose granting amnesty, or creating an easy 'pathway to citizenship' for those who have come here illegally. To do so makes a mockery of our laws, and disrespects every immigrant who has come to America legally."


  1. "Heimlich landed the Latino sports star's support despite Heimlich's firm opposition to any easing of immigration laws for Hispanics who settled in the United States illegally. Munoz was born in Ontario, Cal., in 1958."

    Bill S.,

    You seem to be assuming that Munoz is opposed to enforcing our laws. Maybe Heimlich got Munoz' support partly because of his strong stance on law enforcement rather than despite it. Are you implying that an American of Hispanic descent is automatically in favor of people ignoring our immigration laws. That would be the same as assuming that just because my grandparents immigrated from Ireland I'm a supporter of the terroristic actions of the IRA. Everything I've heard about Munoz leads me to believe he is a good guy so it is a shame to hear the worst assumed of him.

  2. Hi LargeBill --

    No, I was saying that there is no stereotype, or stereotypical take on the immigration issue. Obviously -- as this shows -- not everyone of Hispanic descent favors loosening the immigration laws. Just as the stereotype about big dumb football players is not valid either.

    And Anthony Munoz's support is a big pickup for Phil Heimlich -- an important development in the Oh-02 race. Maybe my wording was awkward? Is that what you are telling me?

  3. Bill S.,

    Maybe I read something into your statement that wasn't the intended meaning. Who knows? I guess it just struck a nerve along the same way when I hear people assume black people all have similar viewpoints.

  4. Hi LargeBill --

    Again, I wasn't trying to say anything except that many Hispanics think one way, and some think another. Do you think I need to rewrite? I can change it. I don't mind honest and thoughtful critics.

    By the way, I believed you are a Navy guy. What do you know about Seabees? I've got an interesting (to me) thing up about John Boehner, but I was in the NG/Army and don't know how Navy boot camp and then follow up MOS training worked. Any insight from an old, er former, Navy guy would be greatly appreciated. Please dive in.