Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with former New York Giants defensive end, Osi Umenyiora for an exclusive interview. Umenyiora and his wife, Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes, have started a record label together called The Uprise. You can read more about the couple's efforts to unite the world through music in the full interview but of course, we had to get a few football-related questions in while chatting with the retired NFL player.
To start with, since Umenyiora retired from professional football as a New York Giant after signing a one-day deal on August 26, 2015, his retirement from the NFL is still somewhat fresh, just three years ago. We wanted to know if there were any ways that Umenyiora's time with the NFL helped to prepare him for this new chapter in his life, being the owner of a record label, two seemingly very different worlds.
TheSportster: In which ways did your career in football help you to prepare for creating your record label?
Osi: Playing football was tough and this business is tough as well. Given the fact that I had to go through so much adversity in order to become a professional football player, I’m quite sure Leila had to go through a bunch of things herself in order to accomplish the things that she accomplished, so we know that the industry is tough and it’s something that we’re going to have to fight and struggle through to get our message across and we’re going to do that.
Since the preparation and day-to-day activities of being a professional football player and starting a record label vastly differ, we wanted to know if Umenyiora found it difficult to step into the new position that he created with his wife.
TS: When you decided your football career was over, how were you prepared to move into another industry?
Osi: It was quite simple for me, actually. I played for 12 years and I pretty much accomplished everything that I wanted to accomplish. The record label wasn’t something that I was thinking about while I was playing football. It just kind of materialized off of what I was seeing and how things progressed but being a record label mogul was never something that I thought of when I was playing.
Finally, we wanted to know what Umenyiora's thought process was like when he confirmed that his career in the NFL was actually over.
TS: You spent most of your life working to make your way to the NFL, when that was over, what went through your mind?
Osi: Football, for me, was no longer a thought in my head. Having a plan for a couple of years, knowing that it was going to come to an end, deciding what I was going to do after, saving money, things of that nature... I was pretty well-prepared.
Speaking with Umenyiora confirmed that he is full of confidence, excitement, and humility in this new chapter of his life with his wife, Lopes. When he decided that he had conquered his goals in the world of professional football, he was ready to move on without any regrets. We wish Umenyiora and Lopes much success with their endeavors!