Zimbabwean NFL player Stansly Maponga Issues apology, Clarifies "Mhembwe" and Deer Comparison

Thank you so much for the support on and off the field, I've been truly blessed. I am a PROUD Zimbabwean and it is an honor to holster the name of my country on my back every time I step on the field. With that said, I would like to extend an apology to my Zimbabwean family for some of the comments I made on Fox News. Truthfully, I wasn't prepared for the interview for I was just getting done with practice, nonetheless that's not an excuse. I wasn't acclimated to answering those questions. Let me clear a few things up, no we do not hunt to survive in Zimbabwe. We hunted common animals leisurely when younger. As kids, we were raised actively and we didn't stay couched up in the house all day playing video games. No, we enjoyed the outdoors and in Zimbabwean culture we're taught the essence of loving and protecting nature. In actuality we haunted "Mhembwe" which is slightly comparable to deer over here in the U.S. . That's why I said deer, I didn't know the proper term to use I just wanted to paint a picture in people's heads. We also enjoyed catching small creatures resembling squirrels (mbeva), but not necessarily squirrels. I'm repentant for those remarks. I grew up not having much, me and my brothers had to share the same pair of shoes for many years so having the opportunity to come to the U.S. and owning my own pair of shoes was a privilege but certainly not a culture shock like I stated. Deeply apologize for saying that. My bad. Now I'm not saying everybody in Zimbabwe grows up the way I did, no. Everybody has a different upbringing, this was just mine. In no way shape or form did I want to degrade or disrespect my people, I just put words out of context during the interview. I love my heritage and my great country of Zimbabwe. I thank God for giving me this platform to be in a position to inspire a whole nation. I love playing football, I'll never disown my country, I'm also proud to an American and the opportunities they have bestowed me with. I want to be a role model, I want kids in Zimbabwe to grow up knowing that with God and hard work nothing is impossible. Faith without works is dead, dream big, stay on your path, keep pushing. Be blessed.
A photo posted by Stansly Maponga (@knighttrain90) on

Apology above is for comments he previous made to fox news regarding his memories growing up in Zimbabwe

Maponga is the first ever NFL player from Zimbabwe – a point of pride. He has many positive memories of growing up in Africa, but many were challenging.
“Back home, kids grow up a lot quicker because you have to go look for food and stuff like that,” said Maponga. “[I hunted for] mostly deer, squirrel. Also rabbits, too.”
Stansly Maponga (born March 5, 1991) is an American football player for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

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