Intramural teams across the country, you’d better start training! That NFL has just joined efforts to have flag football officially recognized as an Olympic sport for the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
The sport made its debut at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama this week, and it’s no surprise that the NFL is behind the push. As enrollment in youth football programs, fueled in part by findings from concussion research, continues to decline – and with it a much smaller pipeline of players – this is a way to get kids back into the sport and grow their international audience . The NFL can always, always pivot — as long as they have bodies on the field.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said, “We see flag football as an all-inclusive sport, which makes it a great vehicle for spreading the values of American football around the world.”
Of course the different values of American Football! Whatever that means. Which values come from the NFL of all places? Yes, you think the same as me. Anyway, I digress.
Vincent too said that NFL players would be allowed to try out for the flag teams. Can you imagine Patrick Mahomes or Joe Burrow on a national level Olympic flag team dropping bombs on some poor Scandinavians at their favorite receivers? Honestly, it’s probably in other countries’ best interests not to agree to this.
The NFL, per Front office sportshopes to transfer its international business to 1 billion NFL in the next ten years or even buy tickets for their European games.
At the World Games, flag football is played on a 50 by 25 yard field in a 5-a-side format with 15 players and 20-minute halves. The International Olympic Committee could make a decision on the feasibility of the sport for the 2028 Games as early as December this year.
NFL International Chief Operating Officer Damani Leech told CNBC, “When flag football becomes a sport [in the Olympics]more countries will invest in this sport.”
Nothing like exploiting national pride to get more fans! Seriously though – if NFL players are allowed it’s going to be a total shit show for everyone else involved, although no doubt it’ll be entertaining for all of us who’ll be out there watching. Things could be more even in the women’s, however – Mexico upset the USA women’s team for gold at the World Games on Thursday.