NFL News: NFL and IFAF Expand List of Global Flag Football Ambassadors

Global ambassador program to amplify international advancement of flag football

Jalen Hurts, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Eli Manning among latest superstar ambassadors      

The National Football League (NFL) and the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) today announced the second team of Global Flag Football Ambassadors to amplify and support the long-term growth of the game worldwide.

Jalen Hurts, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Eli Manning are among the latest to join an all-star team of men and women, including current American and flag football players, Legends, coaches and officials as ambassadors who will work together to further raise the profile and promote the unique values of one of the world’s fastest growing sports.

The Flag Football Ambassadors team – first announced ahead of the NFL season kickoff earlier this month – supports the combined global efforts of the NFL and IFAF to increase awareness, interest, and participation in flag football internationally and drive forward the development of the game.

The National Football League announced earlier today a transformation of the Pro Bowl, renaming the tentpole event as ‘The Pro Bowl Games.’ Taking place in Las Vegas in 2023, The week-long celebration of player skills will feature an exciting new format that spotlights Flag football. In addition to the AFC vs NFC game on Sunday, The Pro Bowl Games will integrate Flag throughout the week, including the Play Football Opening Night and NFL FLAG Championships, which was created in partnership with RCX Sports and will feature the top girls’ and boys’ youth Flag teams from across the country and around the world.

Currently played by men, women, boys, and girls of all ages in more than 100 countries around the world, flag football is poised for even greater expansion as the cornerstone of the NFL’s domestic and international participation and development strategies. Momentum is growing behind the sport following its debut at The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama earlier this year with IFAF preparing to launch the biggest-ever cycle of elite international flag competition, including full continental representation for the first time in 2023. Flag is a fast-paced, non-contact, creative and highly skilled format that benefits from being easily accessible and inclusive making it the perfect vehicle to attract new players, accelerate growth and promote the message of football for all.

The newest members of the Global Flag Football Ambassador team are:

  • Desiree Abrams – First woman to officiate the Super Bowl, NFL Replay Assistant
  • Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback
  • Eli Manning – 2X Super Bowl Champion, New York Giants Legend
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown – Detroit Lions Wide Receiver
  • Osi Umenyiora – Super Bowl Champion, New York Giants Legend

The latest additions not only highlight the scope and ambition of the group to grow the game worldwide but also point to the impact international players have on the NFL itself. Osi Umenyiora, the first British-born player to win a Super Bowl, was born in London to Nigerian parents and now works to raise the profile of the game in Europe and Africa. Amon-Ra St. Brown also has international ties – as a German national who speaks fluent German and French, thanks to his German-born mother, he is gaining a powerful following in Europe.

Desiree Abrams, meanwhile, in addition to being the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl has made a name for herself on the international stage, including as a member of the referee team to oversee flag football at The World Games, as well as the IFAF World Flag Football Championships in 2018 and 2021 and the IFAF Women’s World Championship in 2022. In 2016 she founded the National Women’s Football Officials Association that seeks to accelerate opportunities for female referees in football.

“Flag football continues to give many people, who otherwise would not have a chance to play the game, an opportunity to play competitively,” said Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. “As an advocate for women’s sports, I admire how the platform is inclusive, giving talented and skilled women and girls across the world a way to get active on the field.”

“Flag football is an incredible opportunity for the next generation across the globe to be introduced to our sport and learn skills that transcend football,” said Detroit Lions Wide Receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown.” I’m honored to be a part of the efforts to expand interest in flag in only my second NFL season and I know people in Germany and around Europe are excited to get involved in this fantastic game.”

“I’m honored to be part of the Global Flag Football Ambassadors team,” said Two Time Super Bowl Champion, Eli Manning. “I think it’s important that football continues to provide an inclusive and exciting entry point, but what flag football is showing is that it’s also so much more than that. It’s a team sport that people can continue playing into adulthood at the elite level, and we have some incredibly talented athletes participating. The growth both here in the U.S. and worldwide is exceptional.”“I’m really honored to be named a global flag ambassador,” said NFL Legend Osi Umenyiora. “I believe flag football is a fantastic and easily accessible way to enjoy our great game, and to expand it to countries where football isn’t traditionally played. In the UK and in Africa, where I run talent training camps, it is growing at an incredible pace and I can only see it getting bigger and better as more people are exposed to this exciting, fast-paced and creative format. Being involved with the NFL internationally for the last several years, I cannot wait to see what we are able to accomplish together.”


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