The NFL will debut a new initiative across Weeks 4 and 5 to promote international diversity with players wearing a flag decal on their helmet that represents their nationality or cultural heritage.
According to the league, this is a player-led initiative with other 200 players, coaches, and executives set to showcase over 50 nations and territories over the next two weeks of the season.
“The NFL is proud of the extensive collection of nationalities and heritage of its players across the League,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We recognize the many cultures they represent and the excitement they bring to their home fans, which ultimately helps grow our game.”
The start of the two international diversity weeks coincides with the opening of the NFL’s international series with the Vikings and Saints playing in London on October 2.
Given the NFL’s willingness to promote anti-American rhetoric and values over the years, one would assume these various flags would take the place of the American flag on the back of helmets.
Surprisingly, that isn’t the case. The international flag decal will go on the player’s helmet alongside the American flag. Helmets may look a bit busy with two different flags and social justice slogans like ‘End Racism’ and ‘Choose Love’ messages still being worn by some players, but at least the league has decided to keep the American flag on the helmets.
Players can only wear flags of a certain country or territory if they lived there for two or more years or have a parent or grandparent who were born there.
Some notable players taking part in the international diversity promotion are Kyler Murray (South Korea), Josh Gordon (Haiti), Brian Hoyer (Germany), and Tua Tagovailoa (Samoa).
The full list of NFL players, coaches, and executives taking part in the promotion can be seen here.