HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Even though Texans defensive lineman Roy Lopez was born and raised in Arizona, he had an early introduction to Mardi Gras.
"I didn't know much growing up, but I was lucky enough to have a roommate from New Orleans during my freshman year at New Mexico State to shed some light on me," Lopez explained during a Zoom press conference Thursday. "He started showing me videos of Mardi Gras and the amount of pride and good time they have. It is nuts. I learned a lot about it from him."
Lopez will become even more familiar with Mardi Gras this weekend as he serves as Grand Marshal of Mardi Gras! Galveston's fifth annual Fiesta Gras celebration of Hispanic heritage Sunday, Feb. 20.
Lopez is one of just 24 Latino players in the NFL.
"It's very humbling and exciting at the same time," Lopez said. "Being able to do things like this and be a face for Latino outlets is pretty cool. Just being able to show our pride and show our love for everything that we have is awesome."
SEE RELATED STORY: Here's your reveler's guide to Mardi Gras! Galveston's opening weekend
Founded in 1867, Mardi Gras! Galveston is the third-largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States and the largest in Texas.
Lopez, a sixth round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, started 15 games for the Texans as a rookie last season.
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'It is nuts:' Texans' Roy Lopez introduced to Mardi Gras ahead of Hispanic heritage celebration
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