Nikko Remigio: A proud Fil-Am on a Super Bowl team
LOS ANGELES – Taylor Swift’s private jet landed at the Los Angeles International Airport this afternoon following her Eras Tour concerts in Tokyo. She is expected to attend the Super Bowl LVIII to cheer for her boyfriend, star Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who will take on the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Leading up to Sunday’s game, Swift and Kelce have been a hot topic among Filipino Americans – including the family of Kansas City Chiefs rookie wide receiver Nikko Remigio, who is poised to make his Super Bowl debut.
Who is Nikko Remigio?
Remigio, 25, has been on the Kansas City Chiefs’ reserve/injured list since August last year and is set to return to the field in his first pro season tomorrow.
He was born on Nov. 4, 1999 to a Filipino father and a half Black, half white mother.
Growing up Asian and Black American in a predominantly white neighborhood in Orange County, California, Remigio felt different and faced racism.
In an interview with Berkeley News, Remigio said the other kids wanted to touch his hair because it was long and “super curly.”
He was also told to stay out of the sun because his skin was getting too dark. There were more overt forms of racism, “like being called a nigger or a chink, and getting the slanted eyes gesture to my face,” he said.
Having a mixed-race identity also had its challenges. “It’s like you’re too Black for the white kids, and too white for the Black kids. And then, you’re not really Filipino because you’re only half,” he revealed.
It was his desire for acceptance that got him interested in sports, where “you’re cherished and loved by everybody.” “It didn’t matter what race you were,” Remigio said. “It made you feel like you were just like everybody else – not different.”
Remigio’s Filipino father was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Southern California. His family is from Iloilo and Muntinlupa.
His mom, who is half Black and half white, is from Pontiac, Michigan. His parents met in Santa Ana, California, in 1988.
His parents divorced when Remigio was a young child, but they have maintained a good relationship.
“I really admire the morals they instilled in me,” he said. “They were always there if we were really struggling, but gave us the space to navigate challenges by ourselves in order to fully learn what we’re capable of, and who we are.”
Remigio is proud of his heritage and representation is more important to him than winning games or making headlines.
“One of the big things not only for me — but I know for my dad and his sisters, and my grandma and grandpa — is just people being able to pronounce our last name the right way,” said Remigio (pronounced ruh-me-HEE’-oh).
Looking back now, Remigio realized he was learning how to deal with adversity and to “keep pushing through tough situations, knowing how to react in times of struggle and hardship.”