The NFL has been pushing hard to get flag football on the docket for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. And its efforts have succeeded, according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile it is understood that flag football, a five-on-five non-contact sport variant of American football, has also got the nod. That will delight the NFL, which has been pushing for flag football to be included as an Olympic event to grow interest in the game worldwide.
Baseball, cricket and softball will also make the cut, according to the report. And lacrosse and squash could also get in.
The big question now: Who competes when the time comes?
If the NFL decides it wants active players involved — for marketing purposes and to ensure Team USA wins the gold medal — it would certainly be feasible from a logistical standpoint. The Games run July 21 to August 6. And there are always some events and sports that start a few days before the opening ceremonies for scheduling purposes. The IOC and NFL can certainly find a way to get players in and out without missing much training camp time.
But the injury issue will be very real. It is going to be hard to get coaches, front offices and owners on board. And maybe even the players themselves. Especially when you consider everyone who would be involved plays a premium position.
If we have to hazard a guess: The NFL makes an effort to get big-name quarterbacks and a few other stars in the mix across all competing nations, and then it’s a bunch of fringe roster guys and unknowns filling out the rest of the rosters. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are the dream faces of Team USA, but if Brady can’t do it at age 51 there should be plenty of just-retired passers available. And obviously Eli and Peyton Manning need to be the co-coaches.