Gay Bowl XXI, this year's championship tournament of the National Gay Flag Football League, takes place this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, and according to OutSports, the game and league will be featured in a reality TV series currently in development.
Produced by sports studio game1, Moore Street Productions, and Seth Greenleaf and his Greenleaf Productions, Flags will shine a spotlight on gay flag football teams from around the country.
"Having a series like this can widen the reach for LGBTQ+ communities and promote LGBTQ+ athletes across the world, and for people that don't see themselves in a sport might find a sense of belonging and a renewed sense of connectivity in something they really love as well," NGFFL commissioner Shigeo Iwamiya was quoted by OutSports.
"Our goal with Flags is to create a piece of storytelling that is indeed universal, showing that anyone and everyone can compete at the highest levels of sport, while enduring and enjoying all that goes along with those efforts," Greg Economou, the founder and CEO of game1, was quoted by OutSports.
Greenleaf is a veteran Broadway producer and the straight ally quarterback of a two-time champion gay flag football team. His experiences earning the trust of his gay teammates and discovering their stories were the focus of his 2014 documentary, F(l)ag Football.
In 2017, Greenleaf told Jennifer Brown on the podcast Jennifer Brown Speaks his association with the league started when he talked his way into a practice pick-up game he happened to walk past one day. The players were standoffish at first, but Greenleaf played quarterback, so the hesitant players eventually relented. He impressed them so much they presented an unexpected offer after the practice.
"'Hey, would you ever consider quarterbacking a gay football team?'" he recalled them asking. "When they said that to me, I was stunned because up until that point, I had no idea that these were gay men."
The NGFFL is comprised of over 200 teams in 22 leagues throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Gay Bowl XXI takes place at the Tempe Sports Complex from September 30 through October 3 in Tempe, Arizona. You can learn more about Gay Bowl XXI, including information on hotels, safety protocols, and event locations, at the NGFFL Two Minute Drill.
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