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Washington guard Arie Kouandjio becomes an American citizen

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 26:  Offensive guard Arie Kouandjio #74 of the Washington Redskins signs autographs before the game between the Washington Redskins and the Buffalo Bills at FedExField on August 26, 2016 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images) Getty Images

During a week when so many players are exercising their constitutional rights when giant flags are unfurled before ball games, one player held a very small one while doing something just as American.

According to Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post, Washington guard Arie Kouandjio went through a small ceremony with 45 others Tuesday morning at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Frances Perkins building and became an American citizen.

A native of Cameroon, Kouandjio came to this country when he was 6, and has spent most of his life in the Washington area. And while he bemoaned the fact he could not run for president one day, he takes pride in knowing he can at least now help choose the next one.

“Before, all I could do is just watch CNN or just watch Fox or just watch; I wasn’t a participating member in all decisions,”Kouandjio said. “I [still] can’t be the president, which is something that I’ve always wanted to do, but I can do other things, so it’s awesome.”

Kouandjio, who was an Academic All-American at Alabama and has a Master’s degree in applied economics, tried to tread lightly around the current protests. For him, becoming a citizen was a part of a long journey for him and his family, after his parents came to this country to give their children (including his brother Cyrus who plays for the Bills) a better life.

He said he wouldn’t have chosen to protest the way others have, but having studied the Constitution, he’s familiar with the First Amendment.

“Like many people have pointed out, people fought for their rights to do that,” he said . “They have the right to do what they’re doing. I mean, they’re using their platform in a different way, to get their values across. That’s part of what America is.”

And now, officially, Kouandjio is too. Though when you come from another place for opportunity, and make the most of it, you could say that he already was part of the fabric of this country.

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30 Responses to “Washington guard Arie Kouandjio becomes an American citizen”
  1. gmen6820 says: Sep 14, 2016 10:52 AM

    *Redskins* guard

  2. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Sep 14, 2016 10:53 AM

    Guessing he didn’t take a knee or sit for the oath of citizenship

  3. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Sep 14, 2016 10:54 AM

    Welcome!
    Thanks for doing it the right way.
    Now just assimilate and we’ll be good.

  4. mmack66 says: Sep 14, 2016 10:59 AM

    Awesome!

    Now he can sit through The National Anthem.

  5. fatguystrangler says: Sep 14, 2016 10:59 AM

    Congratulations to him and the others for becoming American citizens. I respect their hard-work and efforts for doing it legally, unlike the millions of others who don’t.

  6. brendafortheboyz says: Sep 14, 2016 11:02 AM

    And, you can bet he WILL be proudly standing for our National Anthem!!!! Good for him……

  7. greg3117 says: Sep 14, 2016 11:02 AM

    Congrats sir and well done!!!!!!

  8. randy8123 says: Sep 14, 2016 11:07 AM

    Though when you come from another place for opportunity, and make the most of it, you could say that he already was part of the fabric of this country.

    ——————————————-

    Well said, and I agree – just one opinion.

  9. savethebs says: Sep 14, 2016 11:07 AM

    It is absolutely INSANE that someone who comes here when they’re freaking 6 has to go through all of this to become a citizen. I’m not saying the process should be easy. But the current process is absolutely ridiculous. But congrats to the man. That’s gotta feel pretty great.

  10. jeffreyshulenburg says: Sep 14, 2016 11:10 AM

    His brother is starting to look good in Buffalo and Ive heard positive things about Arie.

    Itd be a good story if they both make it big in America🙂

  11. RussianBreadMaker says: Sep 14, 2016 11:17 AM

    Class acts. Way to do things the right way Arie!

  12. imcornholious says: Sep 14, 2016 11:20 AM

    Redskins

  13. firerogergoodellnow says: Sep 14, 2016 11:21 AM

    REDSKINS guard Arie Kouandjio becomes an American citizen

  14. mack2x says: Sep 14, 2016 11:27 AM

    Congratulations! It’s nice to read about someone who appreciates what this Country has to offer compared to where they came from. Unlike the “citizens” that have been here for generations, that do nothing but take all She has to offer for granted and whine it isn’t enough.

  15. nflsecurity862 says: Sep 14, 2016 11:31 AM

    It’s time for the NFL to change the team name of the Washington team. It’s time to end racism!

  16. brendafortheboyz says: Sep 14, 2016 11:33 AM

    Itd be a good story if they both make it big in America🙂
    =========================
    Jeffrey, I would say that they both have already made it big in America🙂
    To come from Cameroon, Arie has a Masters in Economics (I barely made it through Economics in college), and both have the privilege to play in the NFL! Wonder how Krap would feel if he had to go through what this young man has…smh…These 2 young men….I am proud to call Americans!

  17. rabidbillsfan says: Sep 14, 2016 11:43 AM

    Here’s a thought, maybe those who despise America right now can ask why they left Cameroon and came to this awful place to begin with. I mean, I’m sure it had nothing to do with political corruption, threats of violence from their own military, Pirates, slavery, and don’t even get me started on how they treat women and children. To me, that is a place unfit for the Kuomdjos, but sounds right for Krap, Brandon Marshall, and any other ungrateful, uneducated, idiot who really think they have it tough.

  18. bighoser says: Sep 14, 2016 11:48 AM

    Well, since Cameroon gave us one outstanding citizen who plays in the NFL, it’s only fair they get one back in return. I nominate Colin Kaepernick. Wonder how his pig socks would go over over there?

  19. faeadagbee says: Sep 14, 2016 11:54 AM

    WASHINGTON REDSKINS Guard

  20. maiphatdong says: Sep 14, 2016 11:59 AM

    bravo sir, now show all these fools how proud you are to be an American citizen!

  21. cheapseater says: Sep 14, 2016 12:22 PM

    Trump does not approve

  22. tindeaux says: Sep 14, 2016 12:27 PM

    i’d be willing to trade this gentleman for kaepernick anytime.

    send kaepernick over there and he can sleep through the national anthem if he wishes.

  23. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Sep 14, 2016 12:35 PM

    Why would you want that?

  24. fontesmustgo says: Sep 14, 2016 12:35 PM

    Go Huskies!

  25. exinsidetrader says: Sep 14, 2016 12:42 PM

    So you can enter and contribute to America LEGALLY.

    Who would have guessed it was possible simply by following the rules, being vetted, and then accepted?

  26. savethebs says: Sep 14, 2016 1:33 PM

    rabidbillsfan says:
    Sep 14, 2016 11:43 AM

    Here’s a thought, maybe those who despise America right now can ask why they left Cameroon and came to this awful place to begin with. I mean, I’m sure it had nothing to do with political corruption, threats of violence from their own military, Pirates, slavery, and don’t even get me started on how they treat women and children. To me, that is a place unfit for the Kuomdjos, but sounds right for Krap, Brandon Marshall, and any other ungrateful, uneducated, idiot who really think they have it tough.

    ———————————

    You’re an absolute idiot. Yes that country has it’s problems & it’s much better her. But because it does have problems all of a sudden we don’t? Because it sucks there we shouldn’t try to make America better? And not once did they say they despise America. I guess we didn’t really need the Civil Rights Movement because there was a war going on somewhere else?

    -Veteran

  27. jxt2521 says: Sep 14, 2016 1:59 PM

    Does any else notice that the same people who respond to people like Kap with ‘move to another country’ are the same people who are backing the idiot who wants to ‘Make America Great Again’?

  28. 1greatusername says: Sep 14, 2016 3:23 PM

    nflsecurity862 says:
    Sep 14, 2016 11:31 AM
    It’s time for the NFL to change the team name of the Washington team. It’s time to end racism!

    LOL, changing a sports team’s name doesn’t exactly equate to ending racism.

    Nice try tho.

  29. finfansince68 says: Sep 14, 2016 5:12 PM

    Congratulations on becoming an American Citizen the CORRECT way – not slithering over our southern borders illegally or flown in from the middle east as “refugees”.

  30. uab9253 says: Sep 15, 2016 3:08 PM

    Redskins, as in skin that is red. As in the name of the team. Redskins.

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