Akbar Gbajabiamila, a Southern California native, parlayed a five-year stint in the NFL into a career in television as a host and actor. One of seven children of Nigerian immigrants, Gbajabiamila was featured in Mark Burnett’s reality series Expedition Impossible on ABC, where he made it to the final round. Gbajabiamila is now the host of NBC’s hit show American Ninja Warrior. Gbajabiamila has always lived an active lifestyle, one that combined social consciousness with athletic success.
An undrafted NFL free agent in 2003, Gbajabiamila played for the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins before retiring in 2008. During the duration of his professional football career, Akbar was looking for what’s next in his non-playing career and how he could use those skills and assets to help others.
In 2005, he was selected as one of the NFL’s first athletes to be in their Broadcast Boot Camp, held at NFL Films in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, that was designed to give 20 players a short and rigorous look into the skills needed to embark on a broadcast or journalism career after their paying days were over. With his playing career over, Akbar turned his focus to television, serving as an analyst for the NFL Network and hosting NBC’s American Ninja Warrior.
In 2015, Gbajabiamila will debut his first movie, The Sac Fly, a socially conscious movie about a child’s life placed in the hands of a hateful man.