Former Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was raised in Los Angeles, played college ball at Cal-Berkeley and spent most of his 11 NFL seasons on the West Coast with the Raiders and 49ers.
However, his new career has him living in New York these days where he appears on Broadway in a revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “A Soldier’s Play.”
Asomugha plays Private First-Class Melvin Peterson—a role Oscar-winner Denzel Washington performed in the original production of the play.
“The character I play is the new guy in the military platoon,” Asomugha says. “That’s something I can relate to in real life because my fellow actors right now on stage have been in a million plays and this is only my second.”
Asomugha, who retired from the NFL in 2014, has performed in a number of films and co-produced a play on Broadway starring his wife Kerry Washington.
“I think filmmaking and theater is very much a team sport,” says the 39-year old Asomugha. “It’s a group of people coming together with a common purpose to achieve a goal. No one person is bigger than the team. Have u ever heard those same thoughts expressed in a football locker-room?” “A Soldier’s Play” has a limited run that ends as scheduled next month. However, Asomugha will continue to be busy. His new film titled “Sylvie’s Love” recently had its world premiere in the Sundance Festival in Utah. He not only was an actor in this romantic film but also produced it.
As they say in the theater, we at NFL Alumni hope Nnamdi Asomugha “breaks a leg” in all his future film and Broadway projects. This son of Nigerian Igbo parents already has broken the stereotype-the misperception–that we NFL players have few options for post-playing second careers.