Source: United States Department of State
To kick off Super Bowl LVIII week in the United States and around the world, and to celebrate the bicentennial of U.S.-Brazil diplomatic relations, the U.S. Department of State, National Football League (NFL), and USA Football – the sport’s governing body in the United States –announced today that American football Sports Envoys will visit São Paulo February 5-11 to engage Brazilian youth from underserved communities.
Brennan Scarlett, an eight-year NFL linebacker and Ashlea Klam, a member of the USA Football’s Women’s Flag Football National Team, will lead sports clinics with Brazilian players of flag and tackle football and participate in local events celebrating the Super Bowl LVIII, the NFL’s annual championship game.
Scarlett, a native of Portland, Oregon, played with the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University and is the Founder and CEO of Scarlett Creative Co., which aims to achieve genuine connection, authentic collaboration, and powerful storytelling between brands, athletes, and audiences. Scarlett is also deeply involved in the community through his nonprofit, the Big Yard Foundation, established in 2018 to empower underserved Portland communities through education, creativity, and access to sport.
Klam, hailing from Austin, Texas, is a first-year student on a flag football scholarship at Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida. Klam plays center and defensive back for the USA Football’s Women’s Flag Football National Team that represents the United States in international competition. In addition to her on-field activities, Klam is the youngest member of the USA Football Board of Directors.
Sports Envoys are elite American athletes and coaches who travel overseas to engage youth and are an integral part of the United States’ vast diplomatic efforts to promote peace through sport. Through sports diplomacy, the United States taps into a universal passion for sports to support broader U.S. foreign policy goals and expand access to education, economic opportunity, and societal inclusion.
Scarlett’s and Klam’s engagements in Brazil are part of a broader collaboration between the Department and the NFL, announced in 2022, to engage youth worldwide. Later this year, São Paulo will host the first-ever NFL regular season football game to be played in South America, and the International Olympic Committee recently announced that flag football will debut as an Olympic sport at the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The National Football League launched NFL Flag programs in Brazil in 2023, in partnership with the Brazilian American Football Confederation (CBFA) to grow flag football at the grassroots and elite level.
Flag football made its international, multi-sport event debut at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama, where USA Football’s U.S. National Teams participated alongside roughly 3,500 athletes from approximately 100 countries. In 2023, the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) held its largest international cycle of flag football competition ever, with regional championships for all continents for the first time, laying the foundation for the 2024 IFAF Flag Football World Championships in Lahti, Finland. In July 2023, USA Football’s Women’s Flag Football National Team took home a gold medal at IFAF’s Americas Continental Championship in Charlotte, N.C.
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