Proposed Illinois Bill Would Ban Youth Football
A bill has been proposed in Illinois that would prevent kids younger than 12 years old from playing tackle football.
If you've paid any attention to the sport of football lately you know that one of the biggest obstacles it faces today is how to make the game safer for those who play it. While the general public is still primarily concerned with the dangerous big hits that cause concussions, recent studies have proven that it's not the big hits that cause problems down the line but the repetitive small "sub-concussive" hits that can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
CTE has been discovered recently to be the cause of the rapidly failing health of many former football players. The name of the proposed bill is called the Dave Duerson Act, named after the former Bears defensive back who committed suicide at the age of 50 because of CTE. A study just found that 99% of all the brains of former football players submitted for research had symptoms of CTE.
We've already seen declining numbers in youth football. Parents are starting to understand that the risks of playing football, especially at a young age, just aren't worth it.
This leaves us with the age-old question. Should the government step in and mandate some rules or should we leave it up to the public? It's a tough decision. I personally believe that football will eventually work itself out of schools once they realize that they might be legally and financially responsible for the long-lasting effects the game can have on its players. I also think that just the social stigma of allowing your kid to play tackle football will eventually kill it on its own.
What do you think? Should the government step in and protect today's youth from damaging their developing brains or should we leave in their parent's hands? Either way, it's bound to be a decisive issue.