When I was a kid, it was pretty common to get a bunch of guys together, find a field and play tackle football without pads or helmet.
Those days seem like centuries ago.
States are increasing legislative control over tackle football, especially with regard to concussions and the control over the policy and procedures that govern them. And then there are some state politicians that want to ban youth tackle football altogether.
Witness New York Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, who introduced legislation in recent days to prohibit children younger than 11 from playing organized tackle football anywhere in the state.
“I want to protect the children,” Benedetto, a Democrat, told the New York Daily News on Friday. “I want them to get an appreciation of the game but I also don’t want them to come out of this wonderful sport in a damaged condition.”
John Butler, executive director of Pop Warner Football, didn’t mince words in his reaction, telling the paper that—“Frankly, it is disturbing.”
Garvin Dublin, who helps run the New York City Youth Football League, added that the dangers are being exaggerated.
“Kids at that age don’t move as fast and they don’t collide as fast,” Dublin told the paper, claiming he has only seen two serious injuries in 27 years. Furthermore, “we teach kids how to protect themselves when they are on the field,” he said.