NFL, IFAF advancement of Global Flag Football Ambassadors Team continues

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

Aeneas Williams, Chase Claypool and Sammis Reyes 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’s Kickoff Weekend 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.

Earlier this season, the NFL 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 Flag games 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:

  • Chase Claypool – Chicago Bears wide receiver, Claypool was born in Abbotsford, Canada
  • Izell Reese – NFL Legend and CEO of RCX Sports, the exclusive operator of NFL Flag
  • Fouzia Madhouni – From Morocco, NFL Mentee in the Global Sports Mentoring Program
  • Sammis Reyes – Chicago Bears defensive lineman, Reyes was born in Talcahuano, Chile
  • Phoebe Schecter – Former coach for the Buffalo Bills, captain of the Great Britain women’s national team, IFAF Athlete representative for the International Olympic Committee
  • Aeneas Williams – Pro Football Hall of Famer and Legend of the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams

The global appeal of these international athletes 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.

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.
  • Diana Flores is the starting quarterback for the Mexico women’s team and won the gold at The World Games 2022 by defeating the USA. She has been a member of Mexico’s national team since 2014 when she was 16 years old.
  • Liz Sowers is the head coach of the women’s flag football team at Ottawa University, where she won the NAIA championships in her first year in 2021.
  • Andrea Castillo won the bronze medal at The World Games 2022 for the Panama women’s flag football team.
  • Sebastian Vollmer is an NFL Legend, former New England Patriots tackle, born in Kaarst, Germany.
  • Luke Zahradka is the quarterback of the Italian national flag football team.

Chase Claypool:

“I’m honored to be a Global Flag Football Ambassador for the NFL. Growing the sport globally, especially in Canada, is something that has always been a goal of mine. Hopefully we see the sport continue to grow and it’s a part of the Olympic Games in the near future, and maybe I can even participate!”

Fouzia Madhouni:

“Being the 1st Global Flag Football Ambassador in the Kingdom of Morocco is an actual dream coming true. More importantly, it gives hope to the ones that are afraid to dream big.”

Izell Reese:

“Flag football is an incredibly inclusive sport and I’ve seen it positively impact youth athletes and bring communities together. I’m honored to have the opportunity to aide in growing the game globally and look forward to making it accessible for all.”

Sammis Reyes:

“I was born in Chile and grew up in a neighborhood where playing a sport like football is unimaginable. People where I am from do not have the resources to buy all the equipment needed to play the game. However, I know there’s tremendous talent there waiting to be seen. I am extremely honored to be an ambassador for flag football because I know it is a step forward for kids in neighborhoods like mine to get an opportunity to play the beautiful sport of football.”

Phoebe Scheckter:

Growing football internationally has been my life’s work and flag football is the easiest way to introduce scores of people to the game, as there are few barriers to participation. The partnership between the NFL and IFAF will create life-changing opportunities for many people worldwide and I am excited to be an ambassador on this mission.”

Pro Football Hall of Famer, Aeneas Williams:

“I am honored to be selected as one of the Global Flag Football Ambassadors. The game of football has had an enormous positive impact on my life.  Flag Football gives us the opportunity to share this great game which also comes along with discipline and character with boys and girls, men and women throughout the world! Let’s Go!”

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