Ndamukong Suh Ethnicity: Family Origin & Race

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While Ndamukong Suh is a prominent figure in the world of American football, his unusual name garners curiosity regarding his ethnicity.

Beyond his athletic achievements, Suh’s rich ethnic background and family history add diversity to his identity.

Currently a free agent, Suh is still searching for an NFL team with four weeks remaining in the regular season.

Ndamukong Suh Last Played For Philadelphia Eagles In The NFL
Ndamukong Suh Last Played For Philadelphia Eagles In The NFL (Source: NFL)

Ndamukong Ngwa Suh is an American football defensive tackle born on January 6, 1987, in Portland, Oregon.

He rose to prominence during his college years at Nebraska, where he earned All-American honors, among other prestigious awards.

The Detroit Lions selected him as the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, marking the beginning of his illustrious professional career.

Suh garnered accolades during his tenure with the Lions, including four All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections. Moreover, he won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2010.

His journey in the NFL also took him through the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Philadelphia Eagles.

Notably, Suh participated in three Super Bowls and was included in the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.

Ndamukong Suh Ethnicity & Race

Talking about Ndamukong Suh’s ethnicity, he is Jamaican, African, and American.

Born to Bernadette Suh from Jamaica and Michael Suh from Cameroon, Suh embraces the cultural diversity within his family.

Nonetheless, the defensive tackle proudly identifies as a unique blend of Jamaican, African, and American heritage.

In an interview with The Sporting News in 2010, Suh expressed his appreciation for being different, stating, “I’m African, I’m Jamaican, I’m American.”

Ndamukong Suh Pictured With His Parents And Sister
Ndamukong Suh Pictured With His Parents And Sister (Source: The Palm Beach Post)

In 2017, Suh shared insights with the Miami Herald, highlighting the positive impact of his diverse background on his life.

“It’s a pride thing but the biggest thing for me is culture- seeing how their culture is, how you carry yourself and approach things from a different perspective,” he disclosed.

He emphasized the values of hard work, pride, and a strong cultural identity instilled by his Jamaican and Cameroonian roots.

Suh sees himself as the fusion of these cultural influences, embodying the drive, focus, and determination derived from each heritage.

Delving Into His Family Background & Origin  

The Super Bowl LV champion’s family background is a fascinating blend of cultures and achievements.

His mother, Bernadette, born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, is an elementary school teacher and a graduate of Southern Oregon University.

Michael Suh, his father, hails from Cameroon and has a history in athletics. Reportedly, he played semi-professional soccer in Germany and represented the Cameroonian national team while working as a machinist.

Likewise, Michael owns a heating and cooling company in Portland. This is why Suh aspired to work with his dad and build the company before realizing his prospects.

Ndamukong Suh With His Wife And Kids
Ndamukong Suh With His Wife And Kids (Source: Instagram)

Suh’s parents met and married in Portland, Oregon, in 1982 when Michael Suh was admitted to a Portland trade school.

Despite his father’s modest height, Suh’s great-grandfather, also named Ndamukong Suh, stood an imposing 7 ft 3. It could be the reason for his 6 ft 4 build.

Suh’s family extends beyond his parents; he is the second oldest among four sisters. Meanwhile, his older sister, Odette Lennon Ngum, serves as his manager.

Odette, a former midfielder on the Cameroon women’s national football team, played soccer collegiately at Mississippi State University.

The Suh family is part of the Ngema Tribe, with Ndamukong’s Cameroonian roots evident in his and his sister’s names.

According to ESPN, “Ndamukong” translates to “house of spears” in the tribe’s dialect, while his sister’s name, Ngum, means “giver of strength, giver of power.”

Swochandra Shrestha
Swochandra Shrestha

Swochandra Shrestha

Swochandra Shrestha is a passionate writer with a keen eye for uncovering the human stories behind the world of sports. His articles offer readers a refreshing perspective on athletes and sporting events, blending insightful analysis with engaging storytelling that resonates on a personal level.


Media Critique Sports Tourism


  • Swochandra explores the intersection of sports and travel.
  • He reflects on the ways in which sports intersect with individual and collective identities.


Swochandra seeks to foster a deeper appreciation for the human stories and cultural dynamics that animate the world of sports, inspiring readers to engage more deeply with the games they love.

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