Coming Soon To The Summer Olympics: Flag Football?

Are you ready for some...flag football? The NFL and the Olympics sure are. In an interview with CNBC, the chief operating officer of NFL International outlined a plan for the football league to grow internationally and flag football will play a huge role in that expansion.

That plan includes a role for the sport in the Olympics in the form of flag football. The NFL believes, in no certain terms, that flag football will serve as a gateway drug to the expansion of football in countries around the world.

All eyes are now on the 2028 Los Angeles...for this introduction of flag football to the Games.

“I think they were impressed by the speed of it,” Damani Leech, chief operating officer of NFL International, said of Los Angeles Olympic Games officials sharing their first impressions of five-on-five flag football. “It’s position-less football where everyone is a receiver, and everyone is a quarterback. You see the speed of it, and it’s entertaining.”

The evolution of flag football as a gateway drug will take a major step this summer when the 2022 World Games are held in Alabama. Teams from Brazil, France, Germany, Japan and Mexico are expected to play and show organizers a glimpse of the action that could be sold to 2028 Games advertisers.

The NFL and flag football proponents have two years to prove to Games officials that its inclusion is necessary in 2028. According to CNBC, a decision on what sports to include at the 2028 Games will happen after the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

In late March, the American Flag Football League announced that it would be turning into a professional league where players will be paid and cities will have franchises. According to the league's press release, players will make $1,000 each week for 10 weeks with travel and transportation paid. There will be five teams and it'll be 7-on-7.

"Professional sports needs this; flag football players deserve this," Christopher Harris, Vice President of the AFFL, said in a press release. "In flag football, there is now a direct path from amateur to the pros. Like many other professional sports, players will be paid, and teams will be cemented in various cities across the country."

It takes small rosters and low costs to run a franchise. You might see why the NFL is ready to get in bed with flag football here and around the world.

Laugh all you want. The smart money is following the NFL and its billions right to the bank and probably right into the Olympics. Adjust your business plans accordingly.

Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.