Former NFL running back Ricky Williams announced that he and other former players will be forming a new football league.
It’s called the “Freedom Football League,” and some of the other big names involved include Terrell Owens, Robert Griffith, Simeon Rice, Spencer Conley, as well as Victor Butler.
Williams explained that the FFL will be different from the NFL in many ways. For one, fans who buy a certain ticket package become partial owners of the team, and the players have a piece of the league.
“We talked about the disparity in income,” he told ESPN. “In the NFL, for example and most professional leagues, the owners are making all the money. Players have an ability to make money but when their career is over then what?”
And a huge mission of the league, Williams said, is to develop young men and give them the freedom to express themselves when social issues arise.
“You can’t take away their voice and expect them to develop,” he explained. “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,” added Williams. “And so really [we’re] changing the conversation.”
Games will take place in the spring, as well as summer and teams like the Florida Power, the Connecticut Underground and the San Diego Warriors have already been announced.
Williams said there’s currently about 100 stakeholders in the league with 50 former players being among them.
BREAKING: Former Pro Bowler Ricky Williams announces new Freedom Football League, founded in part by former NFL players. Teams will be "partly owned by the players, partly owned by the fans, and partly owned by the operators." pic.twitter.com/sEonBKygr9
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) December 6, 2018