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Lights soccer player from El Salvador assists others during virus

Updated April 4, 2020 - 12:20 pm

As a midfielder for Lights FC, one of Junior Burgos’ responsibilities is distributing the ball.

During the coronavirus pandemic, he also has distributed goodwill, groceries and other daily necessities to those less fortunate in his native El Salvador.

“It’s a Third World country that has a lot of poverty,” said the recent Lights acquisition, who plays for El Salvador’s national team. “A lot of people in my country live by going on the streets and selling ice cream or fruit.

“Whatever they make that day is what they live on. We found a picture of an older man who was sitting next to his ice cream truck (during the quarantine). He looked really sad. It broke my heart.”

Through reporters and friends in Central America, Burgos learned the man’s identity and of others in need.

“We bought them the equivalent of a month of groceries,” he said. “We also were able to send them money that replaces what they would make for the month.”

Burgos, 31, is the son of middle-class parents who moved to America to help him pursue an education and a better life. He played soccer at San Jose State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Now he’s giving a little back to others.

“The idea was so they could stay home and be safe and don’t have to worry about going out on the streets — especially since there’s no one on the streets buying from them,” said Burgos, who also learned of a newborn girl whose mother is quarantined and sent additional money for food and baby needs.

He wired the money to friends in El Salvador. His friends sent him photos of the street vendors with the groceries.

Those photos mean a lot.

“One of the main things my parents wanted me to know is if you have a plate, somebody else can eat from it as well,” Burgos said.

Around the horn

— Dan Saley said he and his wife, Stefanie, heard from a lot of people after a story about the Las Vegas couple naming their baby boy Raider appeared in this space last week.

One of the well-wishers will occupy a corner office when the Raiders — the NFL team for which the baby was named — move into new headquarters in Henderson.

“Marc Badain reached out to us to send our little guy some Raiders swag,” the proud papa said of the Raiders’ president. “He even said he would have us out to the stadium for some pictures when all this corona craziness dies down. What a memory it will be for Raider.”

— Raider Saley may be the youngest Las Vegas Raider. But he’s not the original Las Vegas Raider.

That distinction will always belong to David Humm, the team’s longtime backup quarterback and former Bishop Gorman and Nebraska star who died two years ago this week.

Raiders owner Mark Davis said as much during the eulogy.

“What I’d like to say about David is that he had three love affairs: One was the city of Las Vegas, which he loved considerably. The Raider organization, which he loved unbelievably, and then family and friends,” Davis said.

“David is the original Las Vegas Raider.”

— You knew it was bound to happen. NASCAR’s first iRacing feud erupted during last week’s simulated race on FS1 when Daniel Suarez was black-flagged for trying to intentionally punt Ty Dillon into cyberspace.

Suarez blamed it on his dog.

“Ty Dillon wrecked me. I’m sure he was on old tires or it wasn’t intentional,” Suarez said. “Emma (Suarez’s dog) then jumped up on the wheel and got me disqualified.”

Bubba Wallace said drivers are starting to take seriously the video game races that are providing entertainment for NASCAR fans during the coronavirus shutdown.

“I hope the next time we interact with somebody in real life, that’s not going to carry over,” said Wallace, the driver of Richard Petty’s full-sized No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro. “It would be like ‘Hey man, you wrecked me on iRacing’. But it’s like, ‘Cool bro, you had a reset button.

“At the end of the day, it’s a video game. But you do put a lot of time into it, so to have somebody wreck you out is frustrating.”


“My neighbors are going to hate me by the time this quarantine is over.” — Texas Rangers and former Bishop Gorman slugger Joey Gallo, after being filmed taking batting practice inside his condominium during the coronavirus shutdown.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.