NFL Sets Plan to Be Involved in 2028 Summer Olympics

The NFL is the most popular sport in the United States and is now trying to expand into the Olympics. According to Jabari Young of CNBC, the NFL is pushing for flag football to be part of the Olympic games. It's part of the league's plan to grow its international business to $1 billion annually. 

"Over the next five years, we want to expand NFL flag football," Damani Leech, chief operating officer of NFL International, told CNBC. Flag football has similarities to the game seen in the NFL, only there is no tackling, and pads and helmets are not needed. The goal for the NFL is to have flag football part of the 2028 Olympics which take place in Los Angeles. 

"If flag football becomes an Olympic sport, more countries will invest in playing that sport," Leech told Young. During  Super Bowl weekend in Los Angeles earlier this year, the NFL organized a flag football game between the United States and Mexico. It featured both men and women, and Casey Wasserman, the media executive who pushed for the Olympics to be in L.A., was in attendance. 

"I think they were impressed by the speed of it," Leech said of other LA28 officials watching the five-on-five football game. "It's position-less football where everyone is a receiver, and everyone is a quarterback. You see the speed of it, and it's entertaining." One thing to watch for is the 2022 World Games that will be held in Alabama this summer. Young said the league is aligned with flag football for the World Games, and some of the teams that will play in the event are Brazil, France, Mexico Germany, Japan and USA. Flag football at the World Games will take place at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama from July 10 to July 14. 

"Flag football is played at an elite level across the globe, and the significance of its debut on a multi-sport, international stage cannot be understated," USA Football Executive Director and CEO Scott Hallenbeck said in a statement last year.  "We're excited by this year's scouting and selection cycle to help us identify athletes for our U.S. Flag National Teams to compete for gold at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham."