Former NFL wide receiver Victor Cruz burst onto the scene in 2010 by catching three touchdown passes during a preseason game. He became a worldwide star due to his big plays for the New York Giants, as well as his iconic salsa dance celebration that began in 2011. In fact, Cruz's fame reached such a level that President Barack Obama once broke out the dance right in front of him.
Cruz entertained Bleacher Report's Master Tesfatsion with his tale about Obama dancing. As he explained, the moment occurred during a fundraiser. "Obeezy" saw Cruz out of the corner of his eye and started doing the salsa dance while talking to other people. The former wide receiver said that he turned around expecting to see Marc Anthony standing behind him. However, he realized that Obama was actually dancing for him.
"I walk up and he's like, 'Yeah, man, I'm a big fan of what you've got going, I'm a fan of the dances, I'm a fan of football,'" Cruz continued to explain. "I remember the jitters that I got just from being in that room, seeing him there and having that interaction. You don't get that interaction often. The first Black president. He changed the game for me, for a lot of people."
The salsa celebration was not a simple way for Cruz to cap off touchdowns, however. He is actually half Puerto Rican and spent considerable time as a child learning the dance. His grandmother taught him several dances when he was 10 years old, which Cruz said caused him embarrassment. Once he became an adult, however, the dance became a way for him to honor his grandmother. He said that she watched one of the games before she passed away and told him that the salsa had to be his celebratory dance.
When Cruz first began doing the dance, there were two immediate reactions. His supporters loved the celebration while fans of the Eagles and other rival teams expressed criticism. Both sides had plenty of opportunities to showcase their reactions considering that Cruz scored 25 touchdowns during his six-year career.
While he was one of the most famous players in the NFL during his career, Cruz did have a long career. Injuries disrupted two full seasons. He suffered a torn patellar tendon in 2014, ending his season after six games. He later missed the 2015 season after undergoing surgery on his left calf. Cruz returned to the team in 2016, registering 586 yards and one touchdown. That season was his last in the NFL.