Nedum Onuoha: ‘I Never Go Out And Feel 100 Percent Safe’

Jun 2, 2020, 3:26 PM | Updated: 3:33 pm

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake...

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha, who originally hails from Warri, Nigeria, has lived in the United States for nearly two years after joining the club in September 2018. In a recent interview with the BBC, Onuoha confessed to never feeling “100 percent safe.”

The interview comes during a time of civil unrest in the United States, as millions of Americans continue to take to the streets in protest of the death of George Floyd and police brutality against people of color.

Floyd was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a Minnesota police officer on May 25, 2020. The officer – who has now been fired and arrested – held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. The officer involved has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

“I am comfortable but when it comes to any kind of brutality, if it’s from the police, if they read me the wrong way then my life could be taken. I feel that every single day. It is not just me but everybody else as well,” Onuoha said, “I am not trying to be overly critical to the police, there are plenty of good police officers out there, but sometimes I feel like people put police on a pedestal and make them seem superhuman,” he added.

Growing Up In England

Onuoha grew up in Manchester, England, where he excelled as a student and soccer player. Following his high school graduation, Onuoha signed his first professional soccer contract with his home club, Manchester City.

Following his eight years at Manchester City, Onuoha added stints with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers to his resume. He played a total of 14 years in England’s top-flight soccer league, the English Premier League, before making the move across the pond and taking his talents to Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer.

The Difference Between UK and US

On May 15, 2020, Onuoha joined Spencer Warne and myself on the Lions Den podcast. During the conversation, Onuoha admitted that the move to the United States from England was a “no brainer” as he “wanted to travel the world and play (soccer) outside of England.”

Unfortunately, as much as Onuoha has enjoyed playing for Real Salt Lake, the constant concern for his and his family’s safety weighs on him.

“I never go out and feel 100 percent safe,” Onuoha told BBC, “In the UK, I am more comfortable because if something happens it probably will not be deadly – but over here because of their rights it is more common that altercations become deadly. I am always very aware of that whenever I go around anywhere.”

As for the protests, Onuoha said the demand for justice is “emotional” and “overdue.’ He said he feels empowered by non-black voices getting involved.

MLS United Against Racism

On June 1st, Major League Soccer released a statement regarding their stance against racism.

“We stand united with the black community throughout our country and share in the pain, anger and frustration,” MLS stated.

“We are committed to use our voices and the platform of our league, our clubs and players to continue to champion equality and social justice,” the league added.

Tom Hackett is a Utah and Real Salt Lake Insider for and host of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast (Utah Football themed) and The Lion’s Den Podcast (Real Salt Lake themed). Follow him on Twitter: @TomCantHackett.

  • Real Salt Lake Scoreboard

  • Real Salt Lake Team Leaders

  • Real Salt Lake Standings

Real Salt Lake

rsl keep zac macmath...

Brian Preece

Late Arango Goal Gives Real Salt Lake Important Win Over LAFC

An 81st minute Chicho Arango header from Rubio Rubin gave RSL all the scoring they would need in a 1-0 road win over LAFC.

2 days ago


Brian Preece

Chicho Arango Header Gives Real Salt Lake Second Half Lead

LAFC had dominated possession and scoring chances but it was Chicho Arango finding the back of the net for RSL that got the scoring started.

2 days ago

Justen-Glad-Chicharito-Save-Real Salt-Lake...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake’s Justen Glad Signs Contract Extension Through 2027 Season

Real Salt Lake has extended veteran defender Justen Glad through the 2027 season, the club announced on Thursday.

6 days ago

Real Salt Lake Vancouver Whitecaps...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Beats Vancouver As Playoff Race Intensifies

Real Salt Lake pulled off a second-half comeback to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, and move above them in the Western Conference.

10 days ago

Justen Glad Real Salt Lake...

Chandler Holt

Justen Glad Gives Real Salt Lake Lead, Gets Bloody Nose In Return

Justen Glad got in front of a cross following a corner and scored a lead-taking goal for RSL against the Whitecaps.

10 days ago

Brayan Vera...

Chandler Holt

Brayan Vera Evens Score For RSL Against Vancouver Whitecaps

After taking eight shots in the first 45', Brayan Vera found the back of the net on Real Salt Lake's first attempt in the second half.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

Nedum Onuoha: ‘I Never Go Out And Feel 100 Percent Safe’