Chiefs Hall Of Famer Christian Okoye, The 'Nigerian Nightmare,' On Pot Legalization, His Foundation [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE] - uSports.org

Log In

  • Home  /
  • News   / Daily Digest   /
  • Chiefs Hall Of Famer Christian Okoye, The ‘Nigerian Nightmare,’ On Pot Legalization, His Foundation [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]

Chiefs Hall Of Famer Christian Okoye, The ‘Nigerian Nightmare,’ On Pot Legalization, His Foundation [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]

Kansas City Chiefs legend Christian Okoye may be long retired from the NFL, but he continues to stay busy by being heavily engaged in all things cannabis-related.

The 56-year-old Nigerian-born Hall of Fame former running back — who in 1989 was both the NFL’s rushing yards leader and the AFC Offensive Player of the Year — sat down with uSports for an exclusive interview about his take on pot legalization and the work he does with the Christian Okoye Foundation.

“I am very interested in CBD (cannabidiol) oil because it helps me out a lot,” said Okoye, who is a spokesman for CBD company Kannaway, the first hemp lifestyle network to offer phyto-cannabinoid botanical products. “I was introduced to them by my former teammate in Kansas City who was our kicker for a long time, Nick Lowery, and before this I didn’t know anything about marijuana or any of the products that came from that family. But when [Lowery] told me about this CBD oil, I was interested in finding out how it works. They explained everything to me and I told them ‘I would like to try it.’ I tried it out, and that was two months ago.”

He continued; “Since I tried it, I have abandoned the other products that I was taking, like pain medication.”

Kannaway is a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana, Inc., the first publicly-traded cannabis firm in the U.S.

Okoye also revealed his opinion on whether several more states will take steps to legalize marijuana, a national debate that has taken on significant relevance in recent years. Dispensaries for medical cannabis have begun emerging in some states like New York, and many grassroots groups, military veterans and politicians have been pushing for the drug to be de-criminalized.

“I think so [that it will be legalized],” he said. “Just think then years ago, if you had thought about what it is today as far as many states legalizing marijuana, [we’ve come] a long way. I think in another three years, more and more states will legalize marijuana. But the stuff I’m taking is CBD, and what many people don’t know — especially people in government and some NFL officials — is that CBD is totally different from marijuana, so they might be scared of marijuana because it makes you high, so in trying to get away from that they call it a drug.”

Okoye stressed he purely uses the drug for medical purposes. He added: “I have never taken or smoked marijuana, but CBD is something that I believe in and it works out for me. It helps me alleviate some of the pain I feel every day.”

Okoye concern for children led him to launch his foundation, which helps give underprivileged kids outlets to become more involved in organized sports.

“I started the Christian Okoye Foundation when I realized that growing up in Nigeria, I didn’t have professional athletes come to my elementary school or high school to speak to us about focusing on education, doing the right things and setting goals for my life,” he revealed. “I didn’t have anybody like that. We had our parents, and we have good values from them, but I thought when I came to this country, and seeing how freewheeling kids are, and not being able to take advantage of what is provided to them, some of those things many kids in third-world countries would kill for. My foundation, I gear it towards inviting my friends that play in the NFL to speak to these kids and let them realize that those players were at one time just like them, that they grew up just like them. Some grew up in broken homes, so there’s nothing special about playing in the NFL except that you have to focus. You have to set your goals and do well in school and if you do that, you get an opportunity to play in the NFL. So its mainly an encouragement-type thing.”

Okoye believes adults can help children learn and grow, through sports or through any type of activity: take them out of their comfort zone.

“If you take kids away from their environment and bring them to a new environment, you will open their minds. They will see new things.”

Okoye recorded 1,480 rushing yards in 1989 to become the NFL leader in rushing yards that year, as well as the first Chiefs player to lead in this category. He ultimately retired in 1993 after sustaining several injuries.

Okoye earned the nickname “Nigerian Nightmare,” and explained the origin for this alter-ego.

“I got my nickname from my teammate during my rookie year [1987],” he revealed with a smile. “You know how veterans, they don’t care and they’re going through practice, instead of running full speed they just kind of tiptoe, and the coach got mad one time and said, ‘I want everyone to run full speed. So being a rookie, I didn’t know what to expect. Veterans weren’t listening, so I was going full speed, if you were running around and you were in defense, I would have knocked you over.”

“So when we were watching films [of practices], this guy from my offensive line, Irv Eatmen — who played at UCLA, big guy — every time I ran the ball, he would say: ‘Watch out for the nightmare! The Nigerian Nightmare’ And that’s how it started.”

 

 

Chat With uSports On Facebook! Get the latest news and interviews delivered directly to your Messenger!

Featured articles on uInterview.com

Written by Pablo Mena

Writer and assistant editor for usports.org. NY Giants and Rangers fan. Film and TV enthusiast (especially Harry Potter and The Office) and lover of foreign languages and cultures.

Latest News

Atlanta Braves Will Not Change Team Name, Contemplating Future Of ‘Tomahawk Chop’

Atlanta Braves Will Not Change Team Name, Contemplating Future Of ‘Tomahawk Chop’

As the Washington Redskins of the NFL have received criticism of their team name and have just decided to change…

Buccaneers’ Head Coach Bruce Arians  Fears Every Player Could Contract COVID-19

Buccaneers’ Head Coach Bruce Arians Fears Every Player Could Contract COVID-19

With NFL training camps scheduled to start later this month, the league has already gotten rid of two preseason games…

Ravens’ Quarterback Lamar Jackson Cancels Event In Florida Amid Rise In COVID-19 Cases In State

Ravens’ Quarterback Lamar Jackson Cancels Event In Florida Amid Rise In COVID-19 Cases In State

Reigning NFL MVP and star quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson has canceled his annual “Funday with LJ” event…

Zion Williamson & Stepfather Allegedly Received $400,000 During Recruitment To Duke According To Affidavit

Zion Williamson & Stepfather Allegedly Received $400,000 During Recruitment To Duke According To Affidavit

Zion Williamson was one of the most sought after high school basketball recruits during the 2018 school year. He went…

Seattle Seahawks Schedule & Ticket Info: Weekly Matchup Analysis

Seattle Seahawks Schedule & Ticket Info: Weekly Matchup Analysis

The NFL schedule has been released and with that, it means that fans can start buying tickets for the 2020…

Man. United Keeps Champions League Hopes Alive With 3-0 Over Aston Villa

Man. United Keeps Champions League Hopes Alive With 3-0 Over Aston Villa

Hopes for making the Champions League are still alive for Manchester United as they took care of business 3-0 against…

Billionaire Steve Cohen Makes $2 Billion Offer To Buy New York Mets

Billionaire Steve Cohen Makes $2 Billion Offer To Buy New York Mets

There have been rumors for a while now regarding who will buy the New York Mets from Fred Wilpon and…

Image Of Mike Trout Wearing A Mask While Practicing Goes Viral

Image Of Mike Trout Wearing A Mask While Practicing Goes Viral

As the MLB prepares to start its 2020 season later this month, numerous teams have begun holding practices at their…

UFC Promises Tighter Protocols For COVID-19 On Fight Island

UFC Promises Tighter Protocols For COVID-19 On Fight Island

During the absence of sports due to COVID-19, there have been many rumors about UFC’s Fight Island and whether or…

San Francisco 49ers Schedule & Ticket Info: Weekly Matchup Analysis

San Francisco 49ers Schedule & Ticket Info: Weekly Matchup Analysis

The NFL schedule has been released and with that, it means that fans can start buying tickets for the 2020…

L.A. Dodgers Sign Clayton Beeter To 60-Man Roster

L.A. Dodgers Sign Clayton Beeter To 60-Man Roster

With the MLB season set to start later this month, the Los Angeles Dodgers are making moves for their roster…

Black Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” To Be Played At NFL Games This Season

Black Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” To Be Played At NFL Games This Season

There will be another anthem alongside “The Star-Spangled Banner” at week 1 NFL games this season. According to the Associated…