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Former All-Pro NFL player Shawne Merriman recalls his ‘big splash’ on Ninja Warrior

He and Akbar Gbajabiamila reminisced on their NFL careers and Ninja Warrior.

Sports Illustrated The Party Brought To You By The Undisputed Group And ABG Entertainment With DaBaby, Black Eyed Peas, And Marshmello Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Sports Illustrated

Retired NFL player Shawne Merriman recollected his time on American Ninja Warrior while chatting with host Akbar Gbajabiamila for Shawne’s “Light’s Out” podcast.

(Fair warning, there’s one curse word in the clip below.)

Shawne is a former All-Pro NFL linebacker with the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. Akbar’s NFL career also brought him to the San Diego Chargers, which is how the two first became acquainted with one another. It’s interesting to hear them discuss how Shawne’s suspension actually bolstered Akbar’s NFL career.

The two obviously have a lot to talk about when it comes to football. But they also share an American Ninja Warrior connection. Shawne ran the course back in season five and it went... not well. The Ninja Warrior talk starts around the 20-minute mark in the podcast.

We couldn’t help but laugh while listening to Shawne recollecting his brief Ninja career. We always try to think positive thoughts about every run, no matter how short it may be. It’s a breath of fresh air to be able to admit that, nope, it was pretty bad, and have a laugh about it. Shawne is able to recognize that Ninja is just not his sport. He went out there. He tried. He fell. He had fun. That’s it.

Don’t worry, Shawne, the trampoline has tripped up MANY a Ninja.

The podcast is a really compelling listen if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about Akbar’s career before Ninja Warrior as well as how he got his start on the show. Akbar also discussed why he’s become so devoted to offering financial advice specific to the Black community and it’s eye-opening. Check out the full podcast here!