NFL Films Presents this week highlights some of the stories and players of the Gay Bowl, the annual championship tournament for the National Gay Flag Football League.
The eight-minute segment features the faces and voices of a diverse group of people including Molly Lenore, a trailblazing trans player for the New York Warriors; Chris Sauers, referee for the very first Gay Bowl in 2002; Ty Law, who created the Hawaii Gay Flag Football League and who will host the Gay Bowl in 2020; Denver’s Jodie Turner, a member of the NGFFL Hall of Fame; and many more.
The piece focuses on some of the nuts and bolts of the tournament and the league, but it hits home with the personal stories of what the NGFFL means to the players, coaches and referees.
“People say it’s changed their life, it’s saved their life,” says NGFFL Commissioner Thurman Williams, who has been in and around the league since its inception. “I think about the people and the stories where they’re on the brink of suicide, and because they found the league, they found a community, they immediately began to see their lives change.”
NFL Films introduces the viewers to Toronto’s Timothy Winter, who is one of those people Williams was referencing. His story is raw and emotional and brings home the power of community, and the community-building power of sports.
No matter who they are, everyone at the Gay Bowl has a story about how the tournament and the community has improved their life, including Houston’s O.T. and Chad Porter-Fisher, who also get the chance to share their life’s journey in the piece. Gay flag football also gave rise to Outsports 20 years ago, so it has a special place in our hearts.
You can find out more about the Gay Bowl, the NGFFL, and find a local league near you at the NGFFL website.
And be sure to catch NFL Films Presents on FS1 today at 6pmET, and this Friday, Dec. 20, at 6:30pmET.