Get to know more about these three NFL pros who are representing a small demographic in the American Football world.
American Football is not exactly the most popular sport in the Philippines. But, the sport seems to be gaining more and more traction on this side of the world, especially as the National Football League (NFL) continues to tap into new markets outside of the United States.
But if Filipinos need a little push to get into this incredibly exciting sport, maybe it will come from one of these three NFL pros who take pride in their Filipino roots.
Camryn Bynum is one of the few players in the NFL who is very open about his Filipino heritage. In fact, after he celebrated his wedding with his Filipina wife, Lalaine Haddad, last year, he decided to spend six months during the NFL off-season living in the Philippines to get closer to his roots.
Despite living in the United States his entire life, he acclimated quickly to life in the Philippines. Not only did he get to learn more about his background, but he was also quick to make a mark. He contributed to relief efforts in response to typhoon disasters by helping communities and children through various outreach programs, particularly in Leyte, where most of his family members are from.
And that’s not all. Bynum also wanted to use his time in the Philippines to promote his sport. During his six-month stay, he got to meet several local American football players who compete in leagues and small-scale tournaments, and he even conducted a two-day football camp for young players in the country.
Bynum has a strong belief that Filipinos can make it into the NFL, and this is something he is showing by example.
Josh Jacobs is another NFL player who also believes in representing the different sides of his culture, including his Filipino roots. He previously shared that his Filipina grandmother and his dad have kept him close to his culture, and as he has been rising the ranks in the NFL playing for the Las Vegas Raiders, he is happy to represent the small demographic of Filipino-American athletes.
Jacobs understands what it’s like to be an underdog. Growing up, he and his family struggled with homelessness, living out of a car and bouncing around different hotels. But, when he received a college football scholarship, things started to turn around. He continued to work hard until he was drafted into the NFL, where he even won the PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year award in the 2019 season.
Though he hit the ground running in his first year, his fourth year in the NFL was arguably his breakout season, when he led the league in rushing and set several records for his team. Now, as he continues to grow in the league, he also continues to represent his Filipino heritage and pay tribute to his family.
Much like several other Filipino-American athletes, Jason Myers grew up in the United States. But, he is proud of his Filipino roots. In a previous interview, he shared, “I am proud to say I am Filipino. It’s made me who I am. It’s a tiny little group when you get to pro sports. There are some names that don’t sound Filipino, but once you find out, it’s always met with a smile and a hug.”
Myers currently plays for the Seattle Seahawks and his value on the team has been made known, especially after leading the NFL in scoring and earning a selection in the Pro Bowl. In January 2023, he signed a four-year contract with the NFL team that made him the second-highest-paid kicker in the league. Later that year, he was also named a team captain for the 2023 season.
Although he plays at the highest level of the sport, the NFL player often takes the time to give back to the community that raised him. For instance, in the past, he’s hosted free performance camp programs at his alma mater, Mater Dei Catholic High School in San Diego, where he grew up.
Banner image from Camryn Bynum on Instagram.