NFL players head to Israel for tour, exhibition game

Delegation of 11 NFL players to tour Jewish state week after Super Bowl LI. Exhibition game against Israeli team planned.

Tags: Football NFL
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Football (illustration)
Football (illustration)

A delegation of 11 football players from the National Football League are planning to visit Israel a week after the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI.

Players will spend seven days touring the country, visiting historic and religious sites in the Galilee, Jordan River Valley, and Jerusalem.

The delegation will also tour Haifa, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea area, and visit Rambam Hospital and the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

The planned trip is a joint effort of the Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry, Tourism Ministry, and the America’s Voices in Israel organization.

An exhibition game in Jerusalem is scheduled during the trip between the NFL visitors and the Israeli Football team. The game, which will take place under the auspices of the Israeli Football Association, will be held on February 18th (Saturday evening).

The 11 NFL stars include Super Bowl XLVIII Champions Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, New England Patriots Tight End Martellus Bennett, tight End for the Tennessee Titans Delanie Walker, Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Michael Kendricks, 2x Pro Bowl Defensive End for the New Orleans Saints Cameron Jordan, Wide Receiver for the Miami Dolphins Kenny Stills, 2x Pro Bowler and star Defensive End for the Arizona Cardinals Calais Campbell, San Francisco 49ers starting running back Carlos Hyde, Defensive Tackle for the Oakland Raiders Dan Williams, and Denver Broncos Running Back Justin Forsett. A 12th delegate, ESPN Football Commentator and former NFL Linebacker Kirk Morrison, will also take part in the trip.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said the trip was part of a broader effort to create “ambassadors of good will for Israel” abroad, and to encourage sports-related tourism to the Jewish state.

“Football stars are a source of inspiration for all American citizens,” said Levin.

“I am sure that, after the experiences that the players will enjoy in Israel and after they have seen the unique tourist sites and the special atmosphere here, they will become ambassadors of good will for Israel. The Tourism Ministry is hosting this delegation as part of its policy to promote sports tourism which has become an engine for economic growth around the world. The visit of this delegation, in such proximity to the American Super Bowl final, will enhance the exposure of the Israel tourism product to tens of millions of the players’ followers on social media.”