The NFL and the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) added some new faces to the Global Flag Football Ambassadors Team to help further grow the game worldwide.
Former NFL legends Izell Reese and Aeneas Williams, along with Chicago Bears WR Chase Claypool and DL Sammis Reyes were among the newest members to be added to 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 raise the profile and promote the unique values of one of the world's fastest-growing sports."
You may have heard the NFL has been reworking the Pro Bowl this year in an effort to make the week-long event more enjoyable for the athletes and fans who come out to show support for their favorite teams/players. Taking place in Las Vegas, the rejuvenated Pro Bowl Games will feature an exciting new format that brings flag football into the limelight.
According to the NFL Football Operations, flag football is positioned to grow exponentially as an integral piece of the NFL's domestic and international participation and development strategies. Furthermore, the IFAF announced their plans to launch the biggest cycle of elite international flag competition, including full continental representation for the first time ever in 2023.
“Flag football is an incredibly inclusive sport and I’ve seen it positively impact youth athletes and bring communities together,” said Reese. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to aid in growing the game globally and look forward to making it accessible for all.”
.@ChicagoBears WR @ChaseClaypool, DL @SammisReyes, and @NFL Legends @aeneas35 and @izellreese are the newest Global Flag Football Ambassadors 👏🏾— Troy Vincent, Sr. (@TroyVincentSr) December 15, 2022
The @NFL and @IFAFMedia are making flag football an international sport: https://t.co/vRcVsRayah pic.twitter.com/m25BizviZt
Here's a full list of the newest members to join the Global Flag Football Ambassadors Team:
- Izell Reese - NFL Legend and CEO of RCX Sports
- Aeneas Williams - Pro Footballl Hall of Famer and Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams Legend.
- Chase Claypool - Chicago Bears wide receiver
- Fouzia Madhouni - From Morocco, NFL Mentee in the Global Sports Mentoring Program
- Sammis Reyes - Chicago Bears defensive lineman
- Phoebe Schecter - Former coach with the Buffalo Bills, captain of the Great Britain women's national team, IFAF Athlete representative for the International Olympic Committee
Meet the Rest of the Global Flag Football Ambassadors Team
The global appeal of the international athletes selected highlights the scope and ambition of the group to grow the game worldwide but also points to the impact international players have on the NFL.
Among the previously announced ambassadors with international ties:
- Osi Umenyiora, the first British-born player to win a Super Bowl. Umenyiora 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, Detroit Lions wide receiver who is a German national who speaks fluent German and French, thanks to his German-born mother. His brother, Equanimeous, plays for the Chicago Bears, and is also a global flag football ambassador.
- Desiree Abrams, founded the National Women’s Football Officials Association that seeks to accelerate opportunities for female football officials.
- Diana Flores, the starting quarterback for the Mexico women's team and won the gold at the 2022 World Games.
- Liz Sowers, the head coach of the women's flag football team at Ottawa University, where she won the NAIA championship in her first year in 2021.
- Andrea Castillo, won the bronze medal at the 2022 World Games for the Panama women's flag football team.
- Luke Zahradka, the quarterback of the Italian national flag football team.