Fil-Am NFL Player Camryn Bynum’s Story is More Than Just a Score For Pride

Fil-Am NFL Player Camryn Bynum’s Story is More Than Just a Score For Pride


MEGA Man talks to Filipino-American NFL player Camryn Bynum, exploring the inspiration behind his foundation supporting Filipinos

When it comes to Filipinos making a mark in the international scene, it’s often seen as another moment of national pride. But for NFL player Camryn Bynum of the Minnesota Vikings, his Filipino identity runs deeper than mere heritage. In an exclusive interview with MEGA Man, he walks us through the kickoff of his NFL career, his genuine love for the Philippines, and his move to set up a foundation to make meaningful contributions to various local communities.

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His quest to score big

Bynum’s connection with football runs deep, tracing its roots back to his upbringing. He shares how, from a young age, the sport held a special place in his heart, evolving from a simple interest to a driving force behind his goals. Fondly recalling his grade school days, he shares, “I was looking at my yearbook and I had a thing written on it that says, When I am older, I want to be an NFL player and a doctor.” Despite the seeming innocence of these childhood dreams, Bynum tackled them with a genuine commitment, even dedicating a semester to pre-med studies. Although his ambition to become a doctor has not yet been fulfilled, he nevertheless feels grateful and proud for achieving his ultimate goal of joining the National Football League.

Reflecting on his NFL journey’s inception three years ago, he shares, “Going into the 2021 draft, I was picked in the 4th round. I was just super grateful to get picked overall.” During that time, he mentions that the specific team wasn’t his primary concern; rather, the real game, as he puts it, unfolds post-draft. The 25-year-old athlete also opens up about the initial challenging months, acknowledging the stress of finding the right balance and the pressure of earning playing time. And he is thankful that his efforts didn’t go to waste.

Pride in the paint

The Fil-Am NFL player proudly represents his roots on and off the field

Bynum’s love for his country reveals itself in multiple ways. Whether it’s the Philippine flag boldly displayed on his helmet or the frequent on-field photos showcasing our country’s national banner, he ensures that his Filipino identity is a constant companion throughout every game. When prompted to explain the source of this affection, the Filipino-American athlete underscores the importance of representation. Crediting Manny Pacquiao as a pivotal inspiration, he remarks, “I’m in a professional sport now and it’s my responsibility to carry that torch because he inspired me back when he was fighting, and now I see that I can be that for somebody else. It made me realize that it’s a big deal that people really care and support when they see one of their own doing something.”

Better late than never

At first glance, one might assume that Bynum’s strong bond and deep admiration for the Philippines are tied to his personal experiences in our land. However, in an interesting confession, he reveals that he only got a glimpse of the Philippines two years ago. His initial visit occurred in 2022, just before he exchanged vows with his now-wife last year. Bynum expresses a touch of sadness, explaining that despite harboring a long-standing desire to visit his homeland, the financial challenge of saving up for a trip proved daunting, particularly with a large family. Still, he underscores that during his formative years, he never felt a disconnect from his Filipino values, given the ample time spent with Filipino relatives in the U.S. Yet, it was when he finally set foot in the country that his affection for his entire family, fellow Filipinos, and the nation deepened. Reflecting on the experience, he remarks, “Once you go out to the Philippines, you realize, this is just like my family; it’s all the same. It’s crazy to see that even though we’re on the other side of the world, those values still carry over and we’re all the same as people back at home.” 

“I was blown away by just how cool people are and how welcoming, nice, and friendly everybody is. That’s one thing you hear and see. But really, being able to experience it like everybody else is amazing. It’s really like a never-ending vacation; no matter where you go, every single place has its own fun thing.”

Camryn Bynum describes his first visit to the Philippines

Built on Filipino dreams

Camryn Bynum conveys the reasons behind his decision to start his own foundation.
He conveys the reasons behind his decision to start his own foundation

The professional athlete reveals that beyond the desire to explore the Philippines, his dream has always involved making a positive impact. He attributes this vision to his wife’s association with a local church in the Philippines, dedicated to aiding fellow Filipinos in need. Bynum, even before arriving in the country, understood the significant repercussions of natural disasters on many Filipinos. He discloses that even his own family in the Philippines experienced being stranded in their homes during a strong typhoon. This frequently neglected issue, he emphasizes, propels him to launch his own foundation, the Bynum Faith Foundation.

Teaming up with the New Life Community Care Foundation, he actively conducts fundraising efforts to support feeding programs, Sunday school sessions, and disaster relief campaigns aimed at assisting Filipinos. He says that his goal is not just to make little changes but to contribute towards improving their way of life. Despite technically growing up in the U.S. and still residing there, he emphasizes that his heart remains deeply connected to his people.

When asked about his most memorable experience, he recalls helping landslide victims in Leyte. According to Bynum, this experience opened his eyes to the devastating effects of disasters in the Philippines. A year later, he had the opportunity to revisit the community he helped and was pleasantly surprised to witness their thriving state. Describing them as family, he notes their transformative journey from adversity to establishing farms and a flourishing food industry. Bynum underscores his current focus: “Continue to just be a blessing to others. Our biggest goal is to share our faith and show people God’s love.” He also adds, “But I would say objectively, we want to do bigger outreach. It is to help more people; we want to do longer-lasting things for people, whether it is providing clean water over the long term, whether it is through wells or filtration systems, or electricity for certain communities—just going big like that.”

Proud promise

The Minesotta Vikings player shares his commitment to his fellow Filipinos

As our conversation draws to a close, Bynum expresses his sincere thanks to Filipinos, emphasizing their love as something he can feel across borders. He points out that this kind of support serves as his motivation to become a better player with each passing day. In his closing statement, he pledges to his fellow Filipinos, stating, “I promise to always continue to support our people, work to just put us on the map, and show people that we can be successful in whatever realm we are, whether it’s sports, whether it’s medicine—I’ll continue to be an inspiration.”

Photos and Videos: CAMRYN BYNUM (via Instagram)

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