More than 100 people gathered in the lobby of the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday to mark the launch of the new edition of the National Football League, which was unveiled to a raucous audience in Los Angeles.
The kickoff of the league’s 10th season is the first major event since the death of former NFL player and former CEO John Mara in June.
Fans were excited to get their first look at the league, which is owned by Fox Sports, and some were wearing “A Football Life” T-shirts.
“It’s really exciting,” said Michael Maresca, a 27-year-old student at California State University, Northridge.
“I love football, and I’m passionate about it.
But, at the same time, I’m excited that the NFL is doing this to help the community, and we’re not alone.”
Marla was the first openly gay person to lead a major U.S. sports franchise and has long been a passionate advocate for LGBT rights.
“It’s a big step for us to have the NFL take a stand,” Mara said during a conference call with reporters.
The league was formed in 1946 and has been in existence since 2000.
It is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, with roughly $10 billion in annual revenue.
The league has been criticized for its decision to keep players out of the draft and for having the league salary cap so low that teams are forced to compete for players with limited cap space.
In a statement Sunday, the NFL said the game of football is the “most fundamental and integral element of our society.”
“The National Football Conference’s mission is to develop, maintain and advance the game through the development of players and their families,” the statement said.
In a blog post Sunday, Mara said he hopes the new league can “change the face of American sports in ways that we can all be proud of.”””
As we continue to work to advance our league in all facets, we will continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards, and in the process help the game grow and flourish.”
In a blog post Sunday, Mara said he hopes the new league can “change the face of American sports in ways that we can all be proud of.”
“We need to make this a sustainable business model for the NFL,” Mara wrote.
“And I hope that the National Basketball Association can join us.”
The NFL announced the new series of events in the wake of the Mara death.
In a blogpost, the league said it had partnered with the league to bring in the “world’s most influential sports personalities” to help build a strong, positive image for the game.