Music

Flavor Flav Taking Olympics Hype Man Duties Seriously, Pledges $1,000 & Cruise Voyage For All U.S. Women’s Water Polo Team Members

Flavor Flav admittedly doesn’t know much about water polo, but the Public Enemy rapper is all in on the U.S. Women’s team this summer when they travel to Paris for the 2024 Olympics. After the rapper responded to a comment by team coach and three time gold-medal-winning captain Maggie Steffens calling for support for the team earlier this year, the dynamic duo appeared on CBS Mornings together on Monday (July 1) to talk about their unlikely partnership.

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Flav — who has signed a five-year sponsorship deal for both the men’s and women’s U.S. water polo teams — was dressed in his finest red, white and blue team USA olympic gear for the chat, including, of course, an enormous, blinged-out Team USA medallion. “These women out here… the women’s water polo team they out there bustin’ their butt to make United States look good,” Flav told co-hosts Nate Burleson and Gayle King.

“And they chasin’ this dream, you know what I’m sayin’?,” Flav said of the team that scored back-to-back-to-back gold medals in 2012, 2016 and 2020. The Public Enemy hype man admitted that he didn’t know much about the sport before and had only seen it briefly on TV during previous Olympics. But when his manager showed him Steffens’ post about how team members — like many Olympic athletes — have to have two or three jobs to support their sports careers he said he had to get involved.

“I was definitely surprised. I was really excited,” Steffens said of her reaction when Flav responded to her post and pledged to help out. “When Flav responded it was definitely not who I expected. But it has been a beautiful, beautiful expectation and relationship that has changed and he’s really opened up a lot of doors and truly been a hype man for us. It’s been amazing.”

On May 4, Steffens wrote in an Instagram post that she and her fellow athletes could really use some financial support before this summer’s games. “You all are truly the team behind the team and we feel it and we need it! Many of my teammates aren’t just badass champions, but also teachers, business owners, coaches, physicians assistants, and more. Some may not know this, but most Olympians need a 2nd (or 3rd) job to support chasing the dream (myself included!) and most teams rely on sponsors for travel, accommodations, nutritional support, rent/lodging, and simply affording to live in this day and age,” Steffens wrote on Instagram in paying tribute to her hard-working mates.

Father of four girls Flav, 65, responded at the time, “AYYY YOOO,,, as a girl dad and supporter of all women’s sports – imma personally sponsor you my girl,,, whatever you need. And imma sponsor the whole team. My manager is in touch with your agent and imma use all my relationships and resources to help all y’all even more. That’s a FLAVOR FLAV promise.”

During their interview Flav said that he’s since learned that the intensely physical sport in which players can swim in excess of two miles during a match while treading water most of the time is “one of the hardest games to play.” Blown away by the amount of work they put into their sport for what is typically very little remuneration, Flav said he was happy to step in, which Steffens said has already made a difference.

“He’s always making us laugh and definitely brings a lot of positivity,” Steffens said of the shine Flav has brought amid the anxiety that has begun to creep in as the July 26 opening date for the Paris games approaches. “To have Flav’s really positive, optimist and fun energy it brings a great perspective to our team.” After Flav noted that he can swim, Steffens pledged to get the rapper in the pool to test out his water polo skills.

In a surprise that lit up Steffens already beaming face, Flav revealed that his sponsorship will come with a Virgin Voyage cruise as well as a $1,000 bonus. “That’s amazing,” a shocked-looking Steffens said with a wide grin on her face. “I’m elated, that’s amazing. Thank you so much!”

For now, though, Flav is planning to be in Paris to cheer the team on and, he added, he hopes his effort will open the doors for other celebs to sponsor Olympic athletes.

Check out Flav and Steffens below.

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