Upstart Football League To Stop Issuing #19 Due To COVID-19
For Immediate Release – June 4th, 2020
(Palm Beach, FL) – The American 7s Football League® (A7FL), pioneering no-helmets, no-pads, full-contact tackle football, today announced that the league will no longer issue the number 19 to future players due to the damage and destruction that COVID-19 has done to not only the wide world of sports, but all of humanity. The league also revealed that NJ Renegades Slot Receiver Tony Park and NJ Hawks Lineman Jim McKnight have agreed to be the first A7FL players to change their numbers under the 19NoMore Challenge, while eight additional A7FL players are being grandfathered as the last to wear #19 on the gridiron for their respective teams.
“We are proud to be the first sports league to join the 19NoMore Challenge because we believe in the need to find a way for A7FL fans to be “Clear to Cheer”, when our fans are allowed to return to watch our games live,” said A7FL President and Co-Founder Ryan DePaul. “In the long run, we know major sports leagues such as the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB will also support this concept, but as an emerging sport we’re nimble and able to fully commit to the 19NoMore Challenge sooner than later. The A7FL is honored to be the first sports league to accept the 19NoMore Challenge, but we could not have done this without the support of our players who believe in this cause as well.”
“I am on board with the 19NoMore Challenge. This commitment to changing my number is more than just about football to me,” said Tony Park of the A7FL NJ Renegades. “I am going to switch from number 19 to number 20. The reason why is because we are in the year 2020. I feel that this number really symbolizes how strong we are as a country no matter what comes our way. We can face any adversity, including COVID-19, and bounce back.”
In the midst of the global pandemic, passionate, action-oriented sports fans have been stuck on the sidelines. The 19NoMore Challenge collectively challenges athletes, fans and leagues to stand united so sports fans are eventually “Clear to Cheer.” The 19NoMore Challenge calls for the “new sports normal” to not include the number 19 on jerseys as a tribute to those who have died because of COVID-19, while also honoring those who have fought this virus on the front lines. The 19NoMore Challenge implores fans of all sports to use www.19nomore.com as a voice to respectfully petition the powers that be in sports to help eliminate the memory of COVID-19 via eliminating the #19 from the backs of athletes, coaches and officials on the field.
Off the field, testing kits and health safety protocols will be required in order to attend future sports events. A “Clear to Cheer” fundraising effort via t-shirt sales will play a small role in ensuring that fans of all sports can confidently and safely return to enjoying their favorite sports and teams in person. The net proceeds of these t-shirts will be donated to develop and/or purchase testing kits and/or equipment so that fans can safely access live sports again. The CDC Foundation, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO will be the primary beneficiaries.
“It is no surprise that the A7FL is the first sports league to join the 19NoMore Challenge,” said Ken Lehner, Founder of the 19NoMore Challenge. “For years the A7FL has kept their players safe by playing without helmets and pads. Now they are committed to keeping their fans safe when the A7FL returns to play as they are on the leading edge of the “Clear to Cheer” initiative. The A7FL has recognized we are all on the same team as the common opponent is COVID-19.”
About A7FL: The American 7s Football League (A7FL) was created to make full-contact tackle football safer while retaining the toughness and excitement that fans love. A7FL teams compete 7-on-7 without helmets or hard-shell pads — significantly reducing concussions and other repetitive head impacts — while demonstrating amazing athleticism and creating countless viral video highlights. Founded in 2014 by CEO Sener Korkusuz and President Ryan DePaul, the league has grown to 20 teams and over 500K social media followers and recently added UFC® Co-Founder David Isaacs to its ranks. The A7FL can be seen on Eleven Sports, Facebook Watch and Twitch. For more information, call 561-877-0992, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.A7FL.com.
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