Jay Ajayi has become the first NFL player to become an esports athlete after joining Philadelphia Union.
Born in London, Ajayi is a lifelong football fan and supports Arsenal, while he is also an avid FIFA player.
It will be the 26-year-old’s first season as a professional FIFA player, with the running back having played on streams against former NFL player Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson and Men in Blazers’ host Roger Bennett.
Ajayi said: “Philadelphia will always hold a special place in my heart. I am blessed to be able to represent the city through esports and to be one of the first pro athletes to become a professional gamer.
“Representing the Philadelphia Union for eMLS combines two of my greatest passions outside of [American] football, soccer and gaming. I’m a competitor, so you’re going to see me give my all for the Union at every eMLS event this year.”
Ajayi will represent the Philadelphia Union during the 2020 eMLS Cup campaign, beginning with eMLS League Series One in Philadelphia on January 10.
— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) January 7, 2020
Doug Vosik, Union Chief Marketing Officer said: “Jay has the fight, grit and winning mentality that Philadelphia is known for, and it quickly became clear to us that his love of the city, soccer, and gaming made him a great fit for our esports team.
“Signing Jay is another ground-breaking move in eMLS and we are excited to see what he can do.”
Ajayi joined the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team in 2017 and helped them become Super Bowl champions at Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots. He rejoined the Eagles for a portion of the 2019 season and is currently a free agent.
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