NFL players with IDF soldiers. (IDF/Twitter) IDF/Twitter
NFL players with IDF soldiers


“It’s amazing to get in there and train with these guys because they are at the top of their game at being in combat,” said NFL player Josh Norman.

By United with Israel Staff

Israel’s soldiers welcomed NFL players Adrian Peterson and Josh Norman to IDF drills at Wingate Institute in Netanya on Thursday. They came as part of a collaboration with RoboActive #2069, an Israeli high school group that participated in the International FIRST Robotics Competition.

“It’s amazing to get in there and train with these guys because they are at the top of their game at being in combat,” Norman said, according to Fox News.

The football players completed obstacle courses and learned Krav Maga. One drill they found particularly relevant to preparing for the 2020 NFL season was wearing 40-pound vests while climbing a steep hill.

“To go through some of the training and see the focus that it takes, the mental toughness…it just gives you a different appreciation for the training they do on a daily basis,” Peterson said.

They also were briefed about conflict in the Middle East, including the threats the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) must combat from Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran.

“We are proud of what we do to protect Israel and to have the opportunity to share with these athletes, that play such an empowering and physical sport, the way in which we train IDF troops,” IDF Major Roi Yablochnik said, according to Fox.

Peterson first met a group of Israeli students at a robotics competition in Houston, Texas in 2017. The annual competition encourages students worldwide to collaborate and develop new innovations.

Both Norman and Peterson are known for their philanthropy. Peterson runs the A&A Peterson Family Foundation, which improves quality of life through resources, education and economic empowerment. Norman runs the Starz24 Foundation, which provides enrichment to children through community events and youth programs.

They each said they look forward to returning to Israel.

“I think the whole Israel experience has opened my eyes up to so much more,” Norman said.

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