There’s been growing concern in recent years over the brain damage sustained by National Football League (NFL) football stars. In fact, former professional players have recently won millions in a settlement saying that the NFL hid the dangers from them.
Now, California may be the first state in the country to take steps to limit children from playing the game — at least until they hit high school.
Members of California’s Assembly have proposed the “Safe Youth Football Act,” which is designed to prevent young children from the potentially-devastating brain injuries that can be caused by repeated tackles and blows to the head.
Those proposing the Act say that lawmakers have a duty to step in and protect the nation’s children from a sport that could be destructive to their developing brains. The bill is to be considered for approval in the spring of 2018.
The goal is to prevent a type of brain trauma specifically caused by contact sports where there can be head injuries on a repeat basis. Children in the early years of development are particularly at risk. Some doctors even say it is certain.
Coaches who participate in youth football are outraged, saying their sport is being unfairly targeted. They point out that other sports, like baseball, can be just as dangerous as football. Some parents aren’t thrilled with the idea either, saying that it should be the parents and coaches that watch over the kids to make sure that they’re being protected from injury. They say that the proper management of risk can prevent the brain injuries that are associated with the game.
Other parents say it may be a mistake to not address the issue for high school students as well, since they are bigger and can hit each other a lot harder than younger kids. Anyone who is a victim of a brain injury should consider exploring their legal options.
Source: The Mercury News, “California lawmakers want to ban tackle football until high school,” John Woolfolk, Feb. 09, 2018