American Flag Football League Introduces First-Ever Women’s Division for 2021 Season
/PRNewswire/ — The American Flag Football League (AFFL), the preeminent flag football organization in the United States, announced its new Women’s Division and the glass-ceiling shattering $200,000 Grand Prize for both the Men’s and Women’s Champions, leading the movement to level the playing field for gender pay equality in sports. Jeffrey Lewis, CEO and Founder of the American Flag Football League, made the announcement.
Leading the charge for the new AFFL Women’s Division are legendary Team USA Football stars Adrienne Smith and Michelle Roque.
Adrienne Smith will be overseeing football operations and corporate partnership development for the Women’s Division. Ms. Smith is among the best-performing wide receivers in women’s football history. As a Boston Renegades Wide Receiver, football advocate and spokesperson, she has led the team to win national championships in 2011, 2014, 2018, and 2019. Today, Ms. Smith represents Team USA on the Female Flag Football team and is an advisor to the AFFL on its new Women’s Division, with a mission to make women’s flag football a high-visibility, mainstream sport.
“The American Flag Football League’s progressive approach is helping to shape a more equal playing field for women in football and in all sports,” stated Ms. Smith. “As a professional athlete for over 15 years, I’m proud to bring a long history of experience in football on the professional level, and to be a part of the movement that the AFFL is creating which will influence all sports for years to come.”
Heading up all social media for the AFFL, as well as marketing efforts for the Women’s Division, is Michelle Roque, a graduate of Florida State University who skyrocketed into the public eye six years ago as a standout star of her sorority’s flag football league. USA Today has said of Ms. Roque, “She cannot be stopped and she will not be beat.” She has been called by Stack Sports “The Michael Vick of Flag Football.” Today, Ms. Roque represents Team USA on the Female Flag Football team.
“When I was a little girl, it wasn’t cool to want to play football and it definitely wasn’t cool to play as well as the boys could,” stated Ms. Roque. “We are so excited to finally give all those football-loving girls out there the role models that our generation didn’t have to look up to.”
Since 2016, the AFFL Men’s Division has featured ex-NFL and Division 1 football stars along with Olympic athletes, NBA stars and a remarkable variety of Average Joes who are anything but average.
Two-time defending champions Fighting Cancer, arguably the winningest team of all time in any sport, will take on a national field of teams that have patiently endured the pandemic waiting for their shot to play the kings of the game. AFFL’s Board of Advisors include former NFL players Danny Wuerffel, Isaiah Kacyvenski and Michael Griffin.
The 2021 AFFL season arrives in the midst of a growth explosion for Flag. The NFL and Nike recently announced a $5mm initiative supporting girls’ high school flag football. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) will embark on the first-ever women’s flag football season featuring scholarship athletes. The Sports Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) most recent Participation Report noted that Flag has grown to nearly 6.8mm participants, up 23% in the previous 5 years, vs. a 15% decline for tackle to 5.1mm. Flag’s growth rate far exceeds that of soccer, lacrosse, ice hockey, rugby and other major team sports.
“Flag football now offers a new path for women athletes through varsity play in high school and college followed by pro-play in the AFFL,” said Mr. Lewis. “The prospects for explosive growth at the grassroots level are as exciting as they have ever been.”
The American Flag Football League (AFFL)’s mission is to build a worldwide community of fans and players who will be united by their shared values through Flag. Our vision is a world where our most joyful sport is also the world’s largest. Jeff Lewis, the founder and CEO of the American Flag Football League, spent the previous 30 years building various businesses in the financial services sector.
SOURCE American Flag Football League