The bizarre prognostication came from Troy Vincent, a former player who is currently the league’s executive vice president of football operations. If it comes to fruition, millions of fans will likely find themselves with substantially more free time on Sundays.
“When we talk about the future of the game of football, it is, no question, flag,” Vincent told The Associated Press. “When I’ve been asked over the last 24 months, in particular, what does the next 100 years look like when you look at football, not professional football, it’s flag.”
Troy Vincent: NFL’s goal is to make flag football an Olympic sport. https://t.co/YCgdfzlASs
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 7, 2022
Vincent, who played cornerback for the Dolphins, Eagles, Redskins, and Bills during an illustrious 15-year career, said the NFL is interested in promoting the non-tackle version as an Olympic sport. The league is shooting for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles as an opportunity to showcase flag football.
“That’s the ultimate goal to make flag football an Olympic sport,” Vincent said.
The World Games, a major international sports event held after the summer Olympics every four years, are commencing this week in Alabama, and flag football is one of the sports for the first time.
“You watch these young ladies and men play in other countries,” Vincent said. “It’s a transitional sport. It’s a cross-functional sport.”
Judging from reaction on Twitter, it could be difficult to fill stadiums with people willing to watch men and women play non-contact football.
“Rather watch Ultimate Frisbee,” tweeted Hanlon’s Razor.
“The NFL’s goal is to make the NFL flag football,” tweeted Buckshot221.
“This is a joke, right?” tweeted JerBear.
Apparently, it is not a joke. While Vincent is not talking about replacing gridiron gladiators with cloth-snatching sissies just yet, the league is known to be worried about future lawsuits from long-term brain injuries. Flag football would reduce the number of concussions suffered on the field to nearly zero.
But mostly, Vincent seems to believe the safer version of the game is a better bet to attract new fans around the world.
“It’s the inclusion and the true motto of ‘football for all,’” Vincent said. “There is a place in flag football for all.”