How a Special Olympics flag football game helped AJ Cole view the game from a different lens


“After all, people don’t remember what you said or did. They will remember how you made them feel.”

These words from the late poet Maya Angelou remain at the forefront of AJ Cole’s mind as he continues to build his NFL legacy and make a difference in the lives of those around him.

Walter Payton, the Raiders’ 2022 NFL Man of the Year nominee, continued his passion for community outreach by hosting a flag football game Tuesday at Liberty High School in Henderson, Nevada. At the coeducational event, high school students from the school’s special needs school competed against each other, and their classmates cheered loudly from the stands.

At the flag football game, Cole said, “I think this sport is a great thing that brings people together. I think everyone deserves a chance to compete.” To learn about myself, to learn about others, to learn about life, so it was really special to me to give these kids that opportunity today.

“It was really great to see the joy on their faces and the excitement of playing.


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