NFL celebrates international diversity with NFL Heritage program

The National Football League will celebrate players’ and coaching staffs’ cultural origins this season with its NFL Heritage program, with all 32 teams represented.

Across Weeks 7 and 8 of the 2023 season, over 330 players and coaches will return to the field wearing international flag decals — with players adding flags to their helmets and coaches wearing patches on jackets — to represent the ever-growing pool of various nationalities and cultures that make up the League.

Fans will see 70+ nations and territories represented by athletes including Tua Tagovailoa, Fred WarnerAmon-Ra St. Brown, Puka Nacua, Chris Olave, DJ Moore, Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Jones, Efe Obada and Jordan Mailata, among others, as well as coaching staff across 17 clubs including Bill Belichick, Arthur Smith, Ron Rivera, Brian Daboll and more.

“As we continue to prioritize the NFL’s growth globally, we’re proud to have our players and coaches honor their backgrounds through the NFL Heritage Program,” said Peter O’Reilly, executive vice president club business, international and events at the NFL. “This initiative allows us to celebrate the heritage, families and cultures that make up the fabric of the League, and truly showcases the growing global reach and impact of the sport of football and the NFL.”

Participants can choose to wear the flag of an international country or territory where relatives have been born or where they’ve lived for over two years. Players will wear these flag decals alongside the American flag, and are able to represent their backgrounds throughout the remainder of the season.

“My grandmother was born and raised in Samoa, and recently left us in 2021,” said Nacua, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver, who will display the Samoan flag on his helmet. “To be able to represent our family’s heritage and feel like she is here with me on the field is the most incredible thing. I’m proud to play for all of our Samoan fans out there and can hopefully inspire future generations of Samoan athletes.”

“I’m very proud of my background and am happy to honor my heritage by representing both Puerto Rico and Mexico through the NFL Heritage program,” commented Rivera, head coach of the Washington Commanders. “What a fantastic way to show the love of the game across the world.”​

The complete list of participating players and coaches, alongside countries or territories they are representing, can be found here.

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