IFAF IFAF NFL Global Flag Football Ambassadors2

IFAF IFAF NFL Global Flag Football Ambassadors2

Graphic: Igor Lazarevic

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

Demario Davis, Stefon Diggs, Taylor Rapp and Lamar Jackson 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 year – 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 the 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:

  • Demario Davis – New Orleans Saints All-Pro Linebacker
  • Stefon Diggs – Buffalo Bills All-Pro Wide Receiver
  • Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens Quarterback and 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player
  • Taylor Rapp – Los Angeles Rams Defensive Back
  • Liz Sowers – Women’s Flag Football Coach, Ottawa University
  • Charlie Ward – Former Florida State Quarterback and 1993 Heisman Trophy Winner

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 itself. Taylor Rapp was born in the United States to his mother, who is from Shanghai, China, and father, who is Canadian born. Liz Sowers is currently the head coach of women’s flag football program at Ottawa University in Canada.

Among the previously announced ambassadors with international ties:

  • 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, Detroit Lions wide receiver who is a German national who speaks fluent German and French, thanks to his German-born mother.
  • Desiree Abrams, who 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.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to represent flag football for the NFL and to use my platform to help make the sport accessible and more popular both in the United States and worldwide,” said New Orleans Saints All-Pro Linebacker Demario Davis. “Not only is it a great entry point into tackle football for youth, teaching important basics and fundamentals in a safe fashion, but the pull it has with men, women, boys and girls is impressive. I also think I really have something to give the sport of flag football from my experience coaching and mentoring teams through our Devoted Dreamers Foundation and Devoted Dreamers Academy in the New Orleans area and my home state of Mississippi. I take being a flag football ambassador as a great opportunity to continue to grow the sport.”

Buffalo Bills All-Pro Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs:

“I am thrilled to serve as a Global Flag Football Ambassador for the worldwide expansion of flag football. I am proud to contribute to the efforts made by the NFL to grow the momentum to give flag football the global exposure it deserves.”

Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Lamar Jackson:

“It’s an honor to represent the NFL as we continue to expand the popularity of flag football across the wor. I love how quickly the game has grown, and it’s amazing to see the impact it’s made, especially on the youth level for boys and girls everywhere. Football is the ultimate team sport, and flag competition is just another way the game unites people and provides opportunities for fun.”

Ottawa University Head Coach Liz Sowers:

“I am honored for this opportunity to join forces with the NFL and IFAF, as well as elite athletes and coaches, as we open eyes across the world to the game of flag football. I am excited to use my platform to help grow this game and to highlight the impact that this sport has on equity and inclusion. If you have any previous idea of what you think “flag football” is, I challenge you to get rid of that idea, and buckle up, because this is about to be a crazy ride. This is the first time we can finally say “football is for everyone.”

Heisman Trophy Winner Charlie Ward:

“I’m honored to join the Global Flag Football Ambassador team with the NFL and IFAF. Football helped shape the person I’ve become today, and flag football was my introduction to the game. Like other team sports, flag football fosters hard work, camaraderie, and sportsmanship — all important life skills. Furthermore, it supports a healthy lifestyle by getting people outside and active. With flag football, people of all skill levels and all ages can get in on the fun, and I’m excited to help promote the game across the globe through this ambassador’s program.”



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