Organizers of flag football say NFL stars such as Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers could compete for gold when the limited-contact version of American football makes its Olympic debut in 2028 in Los Angeles.
Flag football was one of five new sports voted into the program for LA 2028 on Monday by the International Olympic Committee session, which is meeting in Mumbai.
Pierre Trochet, president of the International Federation of American Football, was optimistic that NFL stars would be allowed a shot at Games glory.
“Theoretically, there’s no objection from the league about having the players available,” Trochet told AFP in Mumbai following the vote.
“It fits the agenda, the schedule — the timing of the LA Games are good.
“We also know there are more than a hundred international players in the NFL with a foreign passport, so it’s a positive for the US but also worldwide.
“There’s still more that needs to be done, but it was definitely a ‘yes’ (to supporting Olympic inclusion) from the beginning.”
The Frenchman added that flag football was attractive as an Olympic discipline because it was safe, accessible and cheap.
“There’s an element of contact but there’s also the element of how easy it is to play,” he said.
“You play with five people, you play in your sneakers. There’s no helmet, there’s no shoulder pads.”
American Football, in its full-contact form, was a demonstration sport at the 1932 Olympics when Los Angeles first staged the Summer Games.
“The NFL is committed to working together to strengthen flag football’s place in the Olympic movement long term,” the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, said in a statement.
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