(Palm Beach, FL) – In a move to rid itself of a reminder of a worldwide destructive force, American 7s Football League® (A7FL), a trailblazing, no-helmets, no-pads, full-contact tackle football association, recently announced that the league will no longer issue the number 19 to future players due to the damage and mayhem that COVID-19 has done.
The 19NOMORE Challenge is another pioneering effort from A7FL.
“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,” A7FL President and Co-Founder Ryan DePaul said in a press release.
“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, DePaul continued. 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.”
Also, A7FL revealed that NJ Renegades slot receiver Tony Park and NJ Hawks lineman Jim McKnight have agreed to be the first league players to change their numbers under the 19NoMore Challenge, while eight additional A7FL players are being grandfathered as the last to wear No. 19 on the gridiron for their respective teams.
“I am on board with the 19NoMore Challenge. This commitment to changing my number is more than just about football to me,” Renegades receiver Tony Park said. “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.”
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,” Ken Lehner, Founder of the 19NoMore Challenge, said. “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.”
For more information on the A7FL and its initiatives, call 561-877-0992, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.A7FL.com.
–– Jerry Del Priore