South Bay football coach who inspired others at ESPY Awards starts fundraiser for health care workers

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In times of struggle, it's easy for some to become divisive, but a South Bay sports figure wants to bring the community together while also raising much needed funds for COVID-19 relief.

Times are tough, so Coach Rob Mendez is hoping to inspire once again.

Who says I can't is the rallying cry of Rob Mendez that gained national attention while he coached at Prospect High School in San Jose.


But during the coronavirus pandemic, the inspirational coach, born without limbs, is changing his iconic phrase.

"'Who says I can't' is a mantra that the world knows during last year's ESPY's and I wanted to brainstorm with 'Who Says We Can't' instead of 'I'. It's so relative right now more than ever I think. With all this going on in our world, we're adjusting and we're pivoting as a society. I think, now more than ever, we need each other to help each other out."

RELATED: Bay Area football coach with no arms or legs, Rob Mendez, inspires world with his story of courage

To do his part to help, Mendez created a new line of clothing to raise funds for people he sees as true heroes.

50% of sales go to healthcare workers, like his father, a retired respiratory therapist.


Those protecting us during the global pandemic.

"The people that are fighting through it for others right now, it shows a lot of selflessness. These people are sacrificing their own lives. For me as a coach, I love seeing my students always be selfless, so for them to use their abilities and risk their own situations such as finances, their own family and their own health, I want to do something to give back to the medical workers."

RELATED: Inspiring South Bay football coach Rob Mendez excited to be back on the field after VIP summer

Clothing with a cause.

And another reminder that we can get through this together.

"I'm hoping just one day out of the year they look at the shirt that they are wearing saying 'who says we can't' and it gives them an uplifting feeling to do whatever they need to do. If we can, as a team, bring that to the world through apparel and hats and wristbands, then I'm using my ability and we're doing our little part in this."

RELATED: Super Bowl 2020: South Bay native Rob Mendez enjoying 'amazing' experience in Miami

Grab your gear and support the cause by visiting the Represent website.

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