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Friday Round-Up: NFL Celebrates International Diversity Through NFL Heritage Program

Six Seahawks will represent their heritage with special flag decals honoring the 70-plus nations and territories represented by NFL athletes.


Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Friday, October 20 — about your Seattle Seahawks.

Six Seahawks To Represent Their Heritage With Flag Decals For NFL Heritage Program

In an effort to acknowledge and emphasize the league's wide range of talent from across the globe, the NFL will celebrate international diversity during Weeks 7-8 of the 2023 season by fitting over 300 players with special international flag decals to honor their cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Six Seahawks - Michael Dickson, Boye Mafe, Uchenna Nwosu, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Julian Love and Olu Oluwatimi - were selected to represent the nationalities and cultures that make them who they are.

Across the league's 32 teams, over 70-plus nations and territories across the map are represented, by players both born abroad and in the United States. The league's continued efforts to increase knowledge and participation in the game of American football globally has led to an increase of matchups played in international markets. In May, the league announced five international games for the 2023 season, with three consecutive games already played in London through Weeks 4-6 and two more between Weeks 9-10 in Frankfurt, Germany. The league first began playing abroad in 2007, and has played 30-plus games in London, and five in Mexico City. In 2022, Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu, who is of Nigerian descent, traveled to Ghana to serve as an African ambassador and instructor for the league’s inaugural NFL Africa Camp. The USC alum made his name on the football field during his upbringing in Carson, California. Nwosu sat down with the NFL Network to discuss having extreme pride in his Nigerian roots and his eagerness to shed light on upcoming African talent from across the continent.

"Any way I get to represent my culture and community any way I can," said Nwosu. "On the brightest lights, I'm there for it. Something my parents instilled in me at a young age - 'Represent your name well, represent yourself well, represent the family well.' That's one thing I plan to do going out there, is spread the African word around. There's talent beyond the United States. There's talent across the water that can really make a difference in the NFL."

Nwosu makes up one-of-three Nigerian players, along with Mafe, Oluwatimi that will sport special decals representing the country.

Seahawks punter Michael Dickson learned a different game of football growing up in Sydney, Australia. Dickson starred in Australian-style football as a youth, earning an opportunity to kick for University of South New Wales. After moving to Melbourne at 19, Dickson earned a trial with the ProKick Australia coaching program, which led to a scholarship from the University of Texas. After a standout career as a Longhorn, the Seahawks selected Dickson in the fifth round of the 2018 draft.

Seattle safety Julian Love will wear the decals of Mexico and Cuba in the coming weeks, representing his multicultural makeup. In Episode 11 of The Sound's second season, cameras followed Love to Un Bien, a local Caribbean staple owned by relatives, who are the sons of Lorenzo Lorenzo, the brother of Love's grandmother and the founder of Paseo, a Seattle staple for Cuban cuisine.

Rookie wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba will represent his roots to West Africa's Sierra Leone, joining Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox.

Seattle is one of 25 teams with six or more players representing different countries or territories over the next two weeks, signifying the league's growing representation worldwide.

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