Season 32 of The Amazing Race premiered Wednesday night with former NFL stars DeAngelo Williams and Gary Barnidge, who spent five years together as Carolina Panthers teammates, competing in a sprint around the globe. Wednesday’s premiere took place in Trinidad and Tobago with challenges involving steel pans and goat racing.
As detailed in a profile written by Deanna Taylor of the Charlotte Observer, Barnidge and Williams first discussed the possibility of teaming up on The Amazing Race while visiting a friend in South Africa. The two auditioned shortly after and were ultimately selected to compete on Season 32, which filmed over a month span from November to December of 2018.
Barnidge and Williams aren’t the first athletes to appear on the popular reality series. Former Phoenix Suns teammates Shawn Marion and Cedric Ceballos partnered up on Season 30, as did competitive eaters Joey Chestnut—of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest fame—and Tim Janus, aka “Eater X.”
Barnidge, 35, totaled 178 catches for 2,258 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns over nine NFL seasons. The 6’6” tight end made his lone Pro Bowl appearance as a member of the Cleveland Browns in 2015. Meanwhile the 37-year-old Williams compiled 10,202 yards from scrimmage (8,096 rushing, 2,106 receiving) with 70 touchdowns over 11 professional seasons, nine of which were spent in Carolina (he finished his career with Pittsburgh). As discussed in Wednesday night’s premiere, Williams is famous for sporting pink streaks in his hair, which he wears to promote breast cancer awareness. Williams’ mother passed away in 2014 following a 10-year battle with breast cancer.
The Panthers duo didn’t have a strong debut, but managed to stay alive by finishing 10th out of 11 teams. Next week’s episode will air at 9 PM ET on CBS.