‘Biggest honor’ for Diana Flores to be recognized in Hall of Fame: Girls, women ‘now can dream bigger than ever’

By Grant Gordon, Digital Content Editor

Diana Flores and the Team Mexico women’s flag football squad introduced themselves to the world in stunning fashion less than a year ago at The World Games.

In the aftermath of her four touchdown passes guiding Mexico to an upset of the United States in The World Games final, Flores has become a star.

She was an assistant coach at the Pro Bowl Games, starred in the NFL’s Super Bowl LVII commercial and recently made history when she was recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Though she’s been bombarded by recognition, Flores said becoming the first flag football player — female or male — to have artifacts in the Hall of Fame is a true honor.

“Well, to be honest, to me, it’s the biggest honor to be between all these NFL football legends and make history at the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Flores told The Associated Press’ Rob Maaddi recently. “This is so meaningful to me, but not only to me personally, because it is a dream, but for flag football to have the first-ever appearance at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I feel that this is a big, big statement for the sport to say and tell the world that this sport is here to stay and it is here to grow.”

Flag football is on the rise throughout the United States, offering an offseason option for boys’ tackle football players and a path to college for girls’ players. NFL Flag youth football has roughly 600,000 players nationwide. However, the sport is also flourishing across the globe and the diminutive Flores is a reason why, as she is a product of the NFL Tochito program in her native Mexico.

“The girls see Diana Flores as a hero,” longtime Mexican coach Jesus Del Rio said in February. “They know this is one step to a Diana.”

It was on July 14, 2022, that the fleet feet and strong arm of Flores captained Mexico to the aforementioned 39-6 upset of the U.S.

Since then, Flores has become a posterwoman for flag football, taking the screen in a Sports Emmy Award-winning “Run With It” commercial prior to having some of her sports memorabilia put on display in the Hall of Fame. Flores’ commercial-worn jersey and her football autographed by sports icon Billie Jean King and New York Jets Pro Bowler Sauce Gardner now have a place in the Hall.

Flores is hoping her efforts will lead to women having a more prominent place in the sports world as a whole.

“It is also a big thing for all women in sports. Not only in football but in sports in general to have this recognition and to have this platform and this voice for all the amazing athletes out there in different sports and especially in football,” she said. “Football is a sport that has been a sport for women for a long time. We love this sport. We are passionate about this, and now to have a place in flag football in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is a big step, and also it opens a lot of opportunities for new doors for the future generations. Girls and women that now can dream bigger than ever.”

Indeed, Flores is taking flag football with her to Canton, Ohio, and beyond.

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major