A group of former NFL players such as Terrell Owens, Ricky Williams, Simeon Rice, Mike Alstott, Byron Chamberlain, Jeff Garcia, and Dexter Jackson have announced the formation of the Freedom Football League.
The FFL is a new association will aim to build capital via private shareholders and public offerings and will also allow fans to join in as business partners, and says that it strives to “attract football players at their highest level of athletic ability, including those defecting from the NFL, graduating college or high school or playing in international or alternative professional football leagues.” .
While no official launch date was announced, a number of franchises were, including the San Diego Warriors, Oklahoma City Power, Portland Progress, Texas Revolution, Ohio Players, Florida Strong, Birmingham Kings, St. Louis Independence, Connecticut Underground, and Oakland Panthers.
“We’re trying to develop young men,” Ricky Williams said of the league during an appearance on ESPN. “You can’t take away their voice and expect them to develop. … When I grew up watching football, I really wanted to be like Jim Brown, not because of what he did on a field, but because he could take that platform and have a voice. And so, when I got to the NFL, expecting that to be the case, anytime a big social issue came up, we were told, ‘Be quiet. … It’s a distraction.’ And so, really, [we’re] changing the conversation.”
With the AAF and XFL positioning for launches, the FFL will have competition.
AAF currently has a television deal with CBS and it’s subsidiaries, and the XFL has deep pockets, while the FFL did not disclose any broadcasting deals.
Perhaps this is an opportunity to launch something on Twitch streams in addition to any other broadcast deals that may be ironed out. While not as big, there is also Mixer streams, and streamer news services that could provide viable options.