NFL Alumni Academy Shares Experience and Leadership Through the Football Diversity Development Program

13 October 2020

Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company, the only resort, entertainment and media company centered around the power of professional football and owner of the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls in Canton, Ohio, in conjunction with its partnership with the NFL Alumni Association today announced plans to include a Football Diversity Development program as part of its Academy effort.

As the NFL season begins, so too, will the NFL Alumni Association’s Academy start its first development/training season. As part of its efforts, the Academy will employ NFL Alumni to not only develop “NFL Ready” players but also develop future NFL coaches, personnel scouts and front office executives through the Football Diversity Development program. This purpose of the program is to intentionally prepare and promote minority former players for professional opportunities in elite levels of sports, including the NFL. Recognizing the significant imbalance in the number of minorities in these key areas of competencies compared to the percentage of minority players in the National Football League, the program is designed to accelerate the professional positions geared toward employment in the National Football League and beyond. Experienced veteran NFL coaches, players and personnel experts will teach, coach and mentor the former NFL players seeking to move into the professional ranks of the league. The NFL Alumni Academy will provide exposure for all 32 NFL teams to evaluate the talented skill sets, as well as establish a direct line of communication and relationships with the program participants in the hopes of generating professional opportunities for those involved. The end goal being to provide NFL teams with talented and prepared minority professionals who have captured the experience needed to successfully lead in multiple areas within the business of sports, not just coaching.

“As we prepare to launch our NFL Alumni Academy, we are proud that Executive Director, Dean Dalton and his leadership team, have incorporated the Football Diversity Development program focused on professional development for our NFL Alumni members to better pursue opportunities in elite sports including the National Football League. It is a powerful step forward for inclusion and diversity in our League,” stated NFL Alumni CEO Beasley Reece.

“One of the foundational commitments of HOFV is to ensure that all we do is equitable in all ways” shared Anne Graffice, EVP of Public Affairs for Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company. Graffice, who also oversees the diversity and inclusion efforts on behalf of the Company further shared “the partnership with the NFL Alumni Association and its Football Diversity Development Program is reflective of both of our organizations willingness to deliberately ensure that we are doing so in meaningful, sustainable ways.”

About the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company

The Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company is a resort and entertainment company leveraging the power and popularity of professional football and its legendary players in partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Headquartered in Canton, Ohio, the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company is the owner of the Hall of Fame Village powered by Johnson Controls, a multi-use sports, entertainment and media destination centered around the Pro Football Hall of Fame's campus. Additional information on the Company can be found at

About NFL Alumni

NFL Alumni was founded in 1967 and is the oldest and most recognizable national organization of retired professional athletes. NFL Alumni consists of former NFL players, coaches, executives, spouses, cheerleaders, and associate members. Part of NFL Alumni’s dual mission is “Caring for Kids”. Player alumni give back in their local communities by raising funds for youth-related charities through their 35 regional chapters. It is a tradition that has existed for more than 50 years. Alumni support typically raises more than $1.5 million dollars for worthwhile causes. The other half of NFLA’s mission, “Caring for our Own” is to serve, assist and inform its members and their families. Alumni members are offered a diverse package of wellness, business, career, and legal services to help members and their families be healthy, productive, and connected to one another. To learn more visit:

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