Robert “Bubba” Pena is the first Cape Verdean to play in the NFL.
Earlier this year, Bubba sent us a message. He told us:
My name is Robert Pena (nickname Bubba). First of all, I am 100 percent Cape Verdean; all four of my grandparents were born on the Cape Verde Islands, and lived there for at least 20 years prior to immigrating to the USA. I am the first Cape Verdean professional athlete in the USA.
In 1971, I was drafted by the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. Prior to getting injured, I earned a starting job as an offensive guard for the Cleveland Browns. Also, I made the NFL All-Rookie team.
I was the first full-blooded Cape Verdean or partial-blooded Cape Verdean to play professional sports in the USA.