While going through Forbes’ list of the top 50 most valuable sports teams, I was amazed and even more so surprised to find out that the list is not dominated by football (or as americans call it, soccer). I mean soccer is the world’s game, how can it not dominate the list? Sure the usual top soccer teams were there by really was surprised by that. One might think then that the next sport to dominate would be teams from the NBA, I mean the world knows of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, you name them. One then think that they would definitely be high ranking in the list. The funny thing was the there is no NBA team that makes the top twenty!
Before I rumble on and on here is a list of the top 10 most valuable sports teams:
- Manchester United – $1.86 b
- Dallas Cowboys – $1.81 b
- New York Yankees – $1.7 b
- Washington Redskins – $1.55 b
- Real Madrid – $1.45 b
- New England Patriots – $1.37 b
- Arsenal – $1.19 b
- New York Giants – $1.18 b
- Houston Texans – $1.17 b
- New York Jets – $1.14b
As you can see the NFL is well represented in this list and more teams come up as the list goes on. Then I went on to think, most sports are now dominated by the black athlete, and Africa has come up with top athletes around the world. When you think of Pele, he is of african origin, when you think of Jordan, when you think of Bolt, Africa is well represented. However, not to sound obvious but when you think of it, most of them are the sons of slaves, their ancestors were brought out here not out of their own will. So it got me thinking, with NFL being the most valuable sports league, what has Africa contributed in terms of SONS OF AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS. Surely we should have one or two their. My search was not disappointing. The NFL has its list of TOP 100 players, and yes the SONS OF AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS were on the list.
1. TAMBA BOIMAH HALI:
Hali was born in Monrovia, Liberia. He fled civil war-torn Liberia at age ten, joining his father Henry, a Fairleigh Dickinson University chemistry professor and Teaneck High School chemistry teacher, in the United States. He was motivated to become an NFL-caliber player by his desire to reunite with his mother, Rachel Keita, and bring her to the United States after not having seen her for more than twelve years.
He attended Teaneck High School in Teaneck, New Jersey, and played for the Teaneck Highwaymen high school football team. He was named a high school All-American and the No. 1 overall college football prospect in New Jersey.
He played college football for Pennsylvania State University, and earned All-American honors. The Kansas City Chiefs chose him with the twentieth overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft, and he has been selected for the Pro Bowl twice.
Hali became a U.S. citizen on July 31, 2006.
2. SUH, NDAMUKONG
Born January 6, 1987, is an American football defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Nebraska, and earned All-American honors. He was chosen by the Lions with the second overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Suh’s mother, Bernadette Suh, an elementary school teacher, was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica and is a graduate of Southern Oregon University. His father, Michael Suh, is from Cameroon and played semi-pro soccer in Germany while working as a machinist. They met and married in Portland, Oregon in 1982, after Michael Suh was admitted to a Portland trade school. Although his father is only 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m), Suh’s great-grandfather, also named Ndamukong Suh, stood 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m). In the Ngemba language of Cameroon, Ndamukong means “House of Spears.”
Suh has three sisters; he is the second oldest of the children. His older sister and manager, Odette Lennon Ngum Suh, played soccer collegiately at Mississippi State University and is currently a midfielder on the Cameroon women’s national football team.
Suh is a fan of Arsenal F.C.
3. NNAMDI ASOMUGAH
Born July 6, 1981 is an American cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft (31st overall) by the Oakland Raiders and playedcollege football for the Golden Bears at the University of California, Berkeley. He was considered one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL
Asomugha was born in Lafayette, Louisiana to parents of Igbo descent and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, California and Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, California before transferring to and graduating from Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California, playing high school basketball and football. Asomugha is of Nigerian descent
4. ASANTE SAMUEL:
Born in Accra but his family moved to the United States when he was young and he was raised in South Florida attended Boyd H. Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. is an American football cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Central Florida. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
An All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 2007 and Pro Bowl selections in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Samuel won two Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots and has reached the postseason eight of his first nine seasons in the National Football League. He played for thePhiladelphia Eagles for four seasons. Now plays corner back for Atlanta Falcons
5. OSI UMENYIORA
Umenyiora was born in Golders Green, London to Nigerian parents. His family moved back to Nigeria and later to Auburn, Alabama, where he started playing football in high school. He is of Igbo descent, and his full first name means in Igbo “from today things will be good” He attended the prestigious Atlantic Hall in Epe, Lagos. Later he attended Auburn High School with Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
He missed the 2008 season, undergoing surgery for knee cartilage damage suffered during an exhibition against the New York Jets. Umenyiora has been selected for the Pro Bowl twice, and holds the Giants franchise record for most sacks in one game, coming against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007.
6. MATHIAS KIWANUKA
Born March 8, 1983 is an American football linebacker for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He was originally drafted 32nd overall in the 2006 NFL draft. He played college football at Boston College. He has earned two Super Bowl ringswith the Giants in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI.
Kiwanuka was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and attended St. Simon the Apostle elementary/middle school and Cathedral High School, where he led the team to 3 straight IHSAA state championships and a national #5 ranking. At Cathedral he played tight end and linebacker and played with future NFL player OT Jeremy Trueblood.
7. RUSSEL OKUNG
Russell Okung is the son of Dorothy Akpabio and Victor Okung. Okung, who graduated in 2009, was a marketing major at OSU. He is of Nigerian ancestry. Okung was born in Fort Bend, Texas. He attended George Bush High School in Fort Bend, where he was a first-team All-Greater Houston and first-team all-district selection. Okung was listed as the No. 33 offensive tackle prospect in the class of 2006. At 250 pounds (113 kg) coming out of high school, he did not possess the prototypical tackle bulk. Okung was recruited by a number of high major schools, including Oklahoma, LSU and Nebraska. He committed to Oklahoma State in January 2006. He is an American football offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Oklahoma State University, and was twice recognized as an All-American. He was drafted with the 6th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks
8. ISRAEL IDONIJE
Idonije was born in Lagos, Nigeria and immigrated with his family to Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, when he was four years old. He attended Vincent Massey High School in Brandon and, though he had never played football and was reluctant, coach Kevin Grindey convinced him to play when the school restarted its Canadian football program in 1997, when Idonije was in grade 12. He went on to play CIS football for the Manitoba Bisons. During this time he worked as a daycare teacher in Winnipeg, Manitoba, played in the East-West Shrine Game, and was drafted 17th overall by the Ottawa Renegades in the 2003 CFL Draft. At Manitoba from 2000–02, Idonije recorded 16 sacks which stands fourth all-time in Bison history. He helped lead the Bison to the 2001 Vanier Cup where Manitoba was defeated by the Saint Mary’s Huskies. In 2002, Idonije was named 2002 Manitoba Male Athlete of the Year. His goal, however, was to play in the National Football League.He was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Manitoba. A draft pick of the now defunct Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League, for whom he never played, Idonije spent the start 2003 season on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad prior to his release in September. He was subsequently signed to the Bears’ practice squad for the final six weeks of the season.
It is very encouraging to note that Africa Diaspora is well represented!