Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/19/14

Osi Umenyiora returned home from a trip to Nigeria last week and was shocked at the image his fellow NFL players had been displaying. The New York Giants defensive end was so disturbed by the rash of arrests compiled by them Umenyiora felt he had to speak out.

"I go to Nigeria for a week, and when i come back, half the NFL has been arrested," he tweeted on July 20. "What happened???"

Upset and tired of the criminal behavior plaguing the NFL, Unenyiora told reporters Tuesday that the New York Jets new quarterback Tim Tebow is a good role model for the NFL.

"I think if more people would focus and try to be like him and carry themselves the way he does, I think the league could be better," he said at M&M's World in Times Square while doing a promotion for the candy company.

It sounds like Osi is pretty sweet on Tebow.



"I know everyone likes to make fun of Tim Tebow, talk about him, but he sets an outstanding example," said Umenyiora. "I think if more people would focus and try to be like him and carry themselves the way he does, I think things would be better."

Tebow— a devout Christian with a clean-cut image— clashes with the public's perception of what a lot of NFL players making headlines seem to portray.

A British-born Nigerian, Umenyiora thinks the recent accounts of too many NFL players' escapades— complete with mugshots and police rap sheets— making the sports pages is overwhelming and said the highly-paid NFLers should be grateful for what they have.

"Coming from where I came from (his trip to Nigeria) and seeing what I saw, all that poverty and people who have nothing, they would literally cut off both legs to have the opportunity these people have," said Umenyiora. "And to be messing around like that, man, it's really unfortunate."



Umenyiora also had Roger Goodell's back. He said the NFL Commissioner's heavy-handed brand of disciplinary actions to punish any law-breaking NFL players is a good start.

"You can't blame the Commissioner," said Umenyiora. "He's bringing down the hammer every time. But obviously people don't like to listen. They'll learn sooner or later."


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