The NFL and Special Olympics have teamed up to provide opportunities for athletes of all abilities to ‘PLAY 60’ through the expansion of Special Olympics Unified Flag Football.
NFL Foundation grants fund Special Olympics Unified Sports®, which builds inclusive communities by enabling people with and without intellectual disabilities to play on the same team. The NFL’s support for Flag Football—one of the fastest growing sports in Special Olympics across the country—has expanded to grants helping local Special Olympics Programs in Massachusetts, Illinois, Northern California, Colorado, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, District of Columbia, Washington, Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Michigan, and Louisiana.
The NFL has also amplified its partnership with Special Olympics through community programs at marquee events such as Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, and the NFL Draft Week Celebration.
2018 PRO BOWL
The NFL and Special Olympics used Pro Bowl 2018 as a unique opportunity to amplify our partnership and hold a Unified Flag Football game including more than 30 Special Olympics Florida athletes and 22 Pro Bowl players.
2018 SUPER BOWL
Building on momentum from Houston in 2017, as part of 2018 Super Bowl week, two Special Olympics Minnesota Unified Flag Football teams competed at NFLX at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The 40 Special Olympics athletes were joined by two Minnesota Vikings players, 10 Philadelphia Eagles players, mascots from both teams, and NFL cheerleaders for an exciting game. Following the game, the teams participated in a Polar Plunge at Super Bowl Live, which raised approximately $200,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota.
2017 DRAFT WEEK
During the 2017 NFL Draft activities, Special Olympics Pennsylvania, more than two dozen SOPA athletes, and former Eagles Players held a skills and drills clinic followed by a scrimmage on the draft grounds in Philadelphia. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell attended the event to show his support for Special Olympics athletes.