Evidence connecting repeated concussive and sub-concussive hits to the head and long-term neurological damage has existed for decades. Despite this, contact sports like football flourished. But now professional football players from the National Football League (NFL) are supporting legislation that would ban tackling in youth football to protect young children from repeated impacts to the head.
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre is backing legislation in Illinois that bans tackle football for all children less than 12 years of age. Children who played football under this age would play flag football instead of tackle football. Mr. Favre knows better than nearly anyone how concussive impacts sustained during play can damage the brain. While playing professional football, Mr. Favre set a new record for most consecutive games played, totaling 297. Mr. Favre now suffers from the long-term effects of repeated head trauma.
The Illinois Bill Mr. Favre is supporting is called the Dave Deurson Act, and it is currently under consideration in the state’s legislature. Mr. Favre hopes other states will adopt similar legislation and that one day there will be a nationwide ban. A ban on tackle football for kids couldn’t come soon enough.
According to a study conducted by the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine, of 211 football players posthumously diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), those who started tackle football at age 11 or younger began experiencing symptoms of CTE in their mid-twenties.
Mr. Favre isn’t the only NFL player who believes tackling should be banned for children. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo also agrees tackle football is not appropriate for young children. When Mr. Romo holds football camps for kids, he doesn’t allow tackle football for the youngest participants.
Although change can’t come soon enough, it will be too late for thousands of players at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. The type of brain damage sustained while playing football can’t be reversed. For many football players, the only justice they will receive is through filing a lawsuit. Organizations like the NFL and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had a responsibility to players to warn them of the health risks associated with repeated head impacts, but instead kept these risks quiet and continued to earn millions in profits from these players.
NCAA Concussion Injury Lawyers
The NCAA settled the first NCAA concussion lawsuit that went to trial after just three days in court. The NCAA cannot deny the thousands of players that deserve justice for the injuries that they now suffer from as a result of their college football play. If you or someone you love played NCAA football, contact the NCAA concussion injury lawyers at Raizner Slania LLP today. We can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf.