Former New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora is headlining the way to the NFL’s expansion into Africa.
The former NFL star has been making shockwaves throughout the international football world. Umenyiora himself is a star that is of African descent (having two Super Bowls championships and two Pro Bowls honors under his belt). Now he wants to make sure the NFL can utilize this talent for a homogenous expansion into Africa.
“You see the number of athletes we have in the NFL right now of African descent,” Umenyiora told Andscape, via ESPN. “There are a lot, and the winds are blowing even stronger in that direction. We’ve seen what the NBA has done in terms of its investment in Africa. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be in full force on ground there also. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
The NFL is starting in Ghana as they evaluate a group of 40 players who were selected from regional camps run by Umenyiora. He will be in Ghana starting on June 21 for the NFL’s activities through this program.
This is not the first time that Umenyiora has helped foster a relationship between Africa and the NFL as he has founded The Uprise — a developmental program for prospects ages 16 to 22. He started this program in Nigeria and has since expanded it into South Africa and Ghana.
From The Uprise, Umenyiora has helped send three players to the NFL: Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi (Arizona Cardinals), Chigbo Roy Mbaeteka (Giants), and Kehinde Hassan Oginni (Kansas City Chiefs).