Detroit Lions Team With African Pride

There’s an “African Pride of Lions” walking the streets of Detroit

Jason Cabinda, NFL player for the Detroit Lions.

The Detroit Lions’ roster currently has the most players of African descent in the entire NFL — two with family roots in Cameroon, and eight with ancestry from Nigeria. “An African Pride of Lions walks together in Detroit,” NFL Africa wrote in an Instagram post. “We might have to start calling Motown ‘Pride Rock City.’”

Accompanying the post is a video from when the Nigerian team players gathered around a homemade meal prepared by Romeo and Julian Okwara’s mother, Melda Okwara. The team reflected on the mainstream misconceptions about their race. “In other cultures, people may just see our exterior [and] think, ‘OK, he’s just Black,’” Amani Oruwariye said. “But there’s a different culture to just Black. Like, we’re Nigerian. It’s a nation. There’s a lot more to it.” The discussion also extended to the misconception about poverty in the continent. “When people think of Africa, they just think dirt and rocks,” Levi Onwuzurike said, referring to what he sees as a similar wealth gap in both America and Africa. “There are big houses in Africa; there’s people doing well in Africa. There’s economies going well in Africa. And then obviously there’s some bad as well.”

NFL Africa is the football league’s branding for its “international home marketing areas” program which allows teams “access to international territories for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization as part of a long-term, strategic effort to enable clubs to build their global brands while driving NFL fan growth internationally,” the sports league said. Last June, the football league launched its first official events in the continent. “NFL Africa: The Touchdown” was held in Ghana and included a talent identification camp, a fan event, and a flag football clinic attended by some of the biggest names in the league. “This is a truly remarkable initiative,” retired NFL star Osi Umenyiora said. “This camp is not only giving opportunities to great African athletes, but also highlighting the incredible African athletes already in the NFL. The positive impact of this cannot be overstated.”

Facebook Comments