For Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones, hitting the ground running doesn’t only happen on any given Sunday. We check in with our 2007 Do Right Man for a play-by-play on his new show, Dhani Tackles the Globe (Travel Channel). ESSENCE.com caught up with the cultured cutie and learned all about traveling the world as a Black man, food-stealing monkeys in Kenya, and globe-trotting with a special lady (or two!) in his life.
ESSENCE.COM: We love you on your reality show, “Dhani Tackles the Globe.” Please explain the show’s premise for those who haven’t seen it.
DHANI JONES: Dhani’s always out of town; Dhani’s playing sports; Dhani thinks he can do anything; Dhani thinks he can go anywhere and talk to anyone. So it’s sort of like the culmination of what Dhani is into. Dhani tackles the globe to be challenged in performance sports within an eight-day timeframe, not knowing much about the sport.
ESSENCE.COM: That sounds very busy and exciting. What’s been the most challenging sport?
JONES: Well, the Mai Thai fighting was challenging. I mean, getting kicked or punched in the face is difficult. It’s hard to say which one was the most challenging.
ESSENCE.COM: How is it traveling to these different parts of the world as a Black man?
JONES: Different countries have different perceptions-some more so than others, some were overt, in my opinion, but maybe not intentional. Maybe it was more misunderstanding. But part of that is me learning their culture, as well as them learning my culture. Sometimes it’s all about being empathetic to your surroundings, not necessarily taking anything someone might say and getting really upset.
ESSENCE.COM: What did you learn about yourself through this experience?
JONES: I have an extremely bad temper. Like, I can flip out on anybody. I mean, I’ve always had it. But, admittedly, I can go and calm down in most situations, you know?
ESSENCE.COM: I do. So, the ladies want to know: What has been your most memorable traveling experiences with the opposite sex?
JONES: I went on a safari in Kenya when I was like 8. On the safari, my sister had her food stolen by some monkeys. In high school, my mother and I went on some spontaneous trips. It wasn’t anything crazy. We went to Bermuda and Turks and Caicos, which I still visit to this day. Then, when I was in college, my mom gave me an open ticket to go wherever I wanted.