“I think the most important part of your visit is that, having seen the truth, you can now fight for it,” Netanyahu told NFL players visiting Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday with seven NFL players as they concluded a six-day whirlwind tour of the Jewish state and told them that they should use their influence to support Israel.
“All of you are gladiators, and you have an enormous following. Now Israel is fighting in the arena, in the battle for truth. I appreciate the goodwill and support and, I’m sure, determination to spread the word,” he added.
The Jewish brothers Mitch Schwartz of the Kansas City Chiefs and former NFL player Geoff Schwartz presented Netanyahu with jerseys with his nickname “Bibi” on them.
The players also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday, and have received briefings from Israeli leaders in technology, security, diplomacy and international aid.
Part of the group’s week-long adventure included being hosted by the Israel Defense Forces, who gave the players a tour inside a real Hamas terror tunnel.
Chris Harris Jr. of the Denver Broncos was moved by the experience, explaining, “It has changed my perspective going home.”
They also sought to encourage the growth of American-style football in Israel, signing autographs, and meeting players and fans of the Israel Football League at Kraft Stadium.
The seven NFL players on the group are Josh Norman of the Washington Redskins, Chris Harris Jr. of the Denver Broncos, Vic Beasley of the Atlanta Falcons, Avery Williamson of the Tennessee Titans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins of the New York Jets.
Some of the players have been joined by their spouses and other family on the trip, which was organized by America’s Voices in Israel, a nonprofit entity that provides high-profile Americans with the opportunity to experience Israel firsthand.
Asked why he decided to come on the trip, Washington cornerback Josh Norman — who was sporting a necklace with a pendant in the shape of the Hebrew word for life, or chai — told the Times of Israel, “I always felt that I was gonna end up in Israel.”
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