As the nation gears up to watch their favorite athletes collide at Super Bowl 2017, a growing movement also seeks to entirely eliminate tackling from football.
“Football is the only major sport where on every single play, the objective is to violently hit the competition,” said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, a Democrat seeking to ban tackle football from all youth leagues with children under 13 years of age.
Although the bill has been proposed for four years with little support, all that may change soon.
The rumor that playing tackle football could lead to concussions and severe long-term damage has finally solidified into concrete scientific fact. And with this new consensus comes a growing movement to replace the pre-existing sport with its less abrasive counterpart: flag football.
“There’s unquestionably a movement afoot, which is wonderful,” said Dr. Robert Cantu of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, an expert on brain injuries induced from playing football.
Cantu elaborated, “Basically, it boils down to the fact that a young person’s brain is more vulnerable to injury than is an adult brain.”
Numerous studies have shown that children who began playing tackle football under the age of 12 were more likely to develop cognitive issues at a later point in life.
However, some who support the new bill, like Ron Ruland of Cobleskill, do not think it will ever get the support needed to pass.
“There is way too much emotion,” said Ron, “cultural bias, and money invested for there to be a rational discourse on the subject. My one hope is that mothers will refuse to sign the permission slips.”
Despite Ron’s pessimism, progress has already been made throughout the country, including numerous laws/mandates to curb the risk of concussions during games.
Some measures include laws that require ejecting any player from the game who is suspected to have a concussion, and to be checked by a medical professional before returning.
Additionally, many schools have protocols on the books to address the matter, including training coaches to under the signs of a concussion and what to do if the situation ever arises.
Exclusive Newsletter, Video, Deals, Content And Video Updates