jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Reps Ghanaian Culture Ahead Of NFL Opening Week

Ghanaian-American NFL player Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah recently celebrated his African roots. He wore a traditional kente cloth outfit before the Cleveland Browns week one matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 10.

J.O.K., as football fans call Owusu-Koramoah, often keeps his heritage front and center. During his second season in the NFL, he participated in the league’s initiative, NFL Africa, designed to attract more potential players from the continent. 

As seen on a video posted to X/Twitter, the 23-year-old football star also performed a snippet of the traditional Adowa dance. The dance was created by the Akan ethnic group located in Ghana’s Ashanti region. The West African dance, as the stories go, is based on the movements of an antelope, after which the dance is named. Traditionally performed by women, the dance has evolved into a non-gender-specific expression of a dancer’s connection to Ghanaian culture. The dance is performed by making exaggerated motions with your arms and moving your feet. It is accompanied by a band in more communal settings, often using drums or bells.

According to Sports Illustrated, along with current and former players from various African nations, Owusu-Koramoah helped run a camp focused on introducing American football to kids in Accra, Ghana.

The NFL’s Chief Operating Officer for International Events, Damani Leech, told AP, “We look forward to hosting our first camp in Ghana and will look to activate in Nigeria and other African countries in the future.”

Leech added, “We want to provide an opportunity for the next generation of African prospects to showcase … their talent. As we continue to look for ways to strengthen the pipeline of international players in the NFL, we hope this camp, and future camps, provide a path forward for aspiring players from across the continent.”

Now in his third season, the Virginia native hopes to have a breakout season with the Browns. He also told writer Anthony Poisai about his mindset when he participated in the camp.

“NFL Africa is a great extension of the NFL,” Owusu-Koramoah explained. “To have them keep an eye on me when I first came in the league — I dealt a lot with African consciousness — and to be able to understand that these are our roots is very important.”

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