Nnamdi Asomugha Means As Much to City of Oakland As He Does to Raiders

The city of Oakland is a city divided. For the fortunate few who live in the more affluent neighbourhoods, who get to wake up to sunshine and opportunity, it's a fine place to grow up.

To the others, who wake up to darkness and gunshots, to lives of little opportunity, it's not such a nice place to grow up. Not at all.

Unfortunately, this is too high a majority of the population of Oakland, those who have little to look forward to but a life that's either ended too soon or spent behind bars.

Oakland is the 41st largest city in the United States, yet it shows a murder rate comparable with a city three times its size, a violent crime rate of a city more than twice its size and a carjacking rate of a city over three times its size. Simply put, per capita, Oakland is one of the most violent places in America. It is overrun with drug dealers and violent criminals, and many kids don't stand a chance.

That's why a person like Nnamdi Asomugha, a local sports hero and true role model, is so very important to a city like Oakland, where those who have little in the way of material goods or chances in life far outnumber those who have life's options laid out neatly before them.

Asomugha has been in the Oakland area for his entire adult life, so he knows firsthand the struggles the kids living there face. He went to the University of California at Berkeley after graduating from Narbonne High School in Los Angeles, and from the very beginning of his time in Oakland, he began to make a difference.

During his freshman year at Cal, he began working with the Touchdown for Kids program, which saw Cal donate money for each tackle he made to the underprivileged youth in Berkeley. He continued this program throughout his tenure at Cal, culminating in his becoming spokesperson for the program his senior year.

When he was drafted by the Raiders in 2003, he brought the program with him to Oakland, where it c...

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