The NFL seems more than open to the prospect of its players competing in the inaugural Olympic flag football event in 2028 in Los Angeles.
Peter O’Reilly, the NFL executive vice president for club business, international, and league events, expressed the league’s stance during a recent press conference.
“I think there is a desire to work through a process that has NFL players as part of LA ’28, but I would never discount the talented flag football players playing that discipline of our sport today at a very high level,” O’Reilly stated.
He further emphasized, “Ultimately, that decision on the makeup of Team USA is a decision of USA Football and the national governing body or the governing bodies around the world in similar roles.”
The NFL is not only allowing, but encouraging active players to participate in Flag Football at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics 🇺🇸
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) October 18, 2023
However, the involvement of NFL players in the Olympics would require navigating several intricate steps.
First, the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) must approve the inclusion of active NFL players in the competition.
O’Reilly clarified that the proposal to include flag football in the Olympics wasn’t originally predicated on the participation of NFL players, emphasizing the impressive talent exhibited by athletes in the sport at the recent World Games.
Furthermore, the final decision to include NFL players in the Olympic team would rest with USA Football, requiring the cooperation of both the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
Despite the potential logistical challenges, O’Reilly expressed optimism, stating, “We think it’s a great opportunity because the player interest is real and palpable.”
Micah Parsons wants in on the olympics and he's putting out the call to form a superteam 👀 pic.twitter.com/XyQnUDwLXb
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 17, 2023
Do you think NFL players should participate in Olympic flag football?
If allowed, and Team USA fields it’s best, can you imagine the domination that would take place???