Blazing a trail for Latinas

Alisal alum Mayra Gomez makes her mark on Thursday Night Football


Mayra Gomez works the sideline for Thursday Night Football during the Bengals/Jets game in Week 4. She got to interview Bengal’s running back Joe Mixon after the game. She said the best parts of her job is bringing Latinos first hand information and getting to know the players off the field, building relationships with fans, and all who are part of the NFL.

 From being a soccer lover to being a sideline reporter for the 49ers, and interviewing NFL players as a sideline reporter on Thursday Night Football, Mayra Gomez is living the dream.

At an early age, Gomez’s dream was to play soccer, specifically in a men’s soccer league. She would always tell her dad that her “goal was to be the first woman in Mexican Men’s Soccer.” Her father believed in her and instead of saying “you’re a woman, you can’t do that,” he’d say “get up and go train.”          

Gomez attended Alisal, graduating in 2004. She played soccer for her 4 years of attending. She had English/ Yearbook teacher Mick Battaglini as her AP English teacher her junior year, who said he enjoyed having her in class. “Mayra was a lot like how she is now, a big personality. She was also a good student and a good athlete.” 

After high school, she continued her education by majoring in business administration in Wesleyan University in North Carolina where she also got a partial soccer scholarship and was an active member of the University’s Drama Club. 

Gomez went to Wesleyan University from 2004-2009, receiving her Bachelor in Arts and Business Administration. After she graduated, she came back to her hometown to work as an administrator for Entravision, which is an affiliate for Univision.

In 2014, while being a front desk administrator, her news director asked her what her passion was and what she was going to do with her life. “I said I love sports and I don’t know what else to tell you.” His response was “Have you ever tried sports broadcasting?” and she replied, “No, I don’t do that.” 

Her first thoughts on sports broadcasting was “women in bikinis on the television” and that wasn’t her mentality. The next day, the news director went up to her and said “Hey why didn’t you tell me you wanted to do sports?” In her head, she said she wasn’t sure, but she wanted to take on the challenge. “I agreed to try sports broadcasting,” Gomez said. “Internally the image I had of a female in sports wasn’t what I thought of me. There were a lot of questions, but I knew that they weren’t all the same.”

She got her test run the following day and she started studying on how she could get better, how she could do the job, how she could be a sports reporter. 

By committing to her passion she moved to Mexico City in 2015 to get a sports journalism degree. In 2016, the NFL made its return to Mexico City and she “made the right connections and they said well you know football, you’re a female, you can get the job done, so we want to hire you to be the sideline reporter for Monday Night Football,” and she took the job.           

From there, she has worked for the San Diego Chargers and then the San Francisco 49ers, where she has done some color commentary.

This year she started working with Prime Video Football Broadcasting team, a company that belongs to Amazon, on Thursday Night Football. It was a job she almost didn’t get. She had received a message from Amazon Prime, which she thought was just spam since “Amazon Prime” was the subject. Luckily, she opened the email and  attended an interview, where she was one of two candidates. She eventually got the job and she has been working with them for approximately 6 months as the sideline reporter on TNF en Español. 

She decided to become a Spanish reporter knowing Latinas have a lower pay rate because she wanted to prove what a Latina woman was capable of doing. She could make more money being an English sideline reporter, but she thinks it’s more important to pave the way for Latinas and Spanish broadcasts. 

Battaglini said, “I think it’s really important for young Hispanic women, to see her doing what she’s doing, because she’s a powerful role model and definitely a trailblazer in trying to bring in the Hispanic audience into the NFL which is definitely underserved. Gomez stated that “every day there are women that are prepared”, and she is proud to be in that category. What makes her happy in this occupation is her ability to bring people together, make connections, and memories, and change the way people see Latinas.