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IL lawmaker wants to end tackle football for players 12 and younger

27 January, 2018, 20:31 | Author: Lora Ball
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Joining Sente in support of the bill was Tregg Duerson, Dave Duerson's son; Dr. Chris Nowinski, CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation; former Bears player Otis Wilson; former Bears TV broadcaster Mike Adamle; and Liz Nicholson, wife of former National Football League player Gerry Sullivan. CTE has been linked to concussions or repeated head trauma.

"A child's brain goes through significant changes as they become an adolescent between the ages of 8 and 12", Nowinski said. "Public safety issues that have severe health implications, I think, the government does play a role, whether that's auto seats or seat belts or smoking I think that the data at this point, for me, while it's not 100 percent, it's convincing", said State Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills.

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IL is not the first state to look at banning youth tackle football. Both testified passionately about their hope that children can be better protected in the game that gave them their livelihood, but has impacted their lives. Sente said. "I don't hate football".

This isn't the first time that some have called for the elimination of tackling as a form of youth football to combat the spread of CTE. TCYFL oversees some 50 youth football organizations, including many in McHenry County.

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"The problem is that when all this happened, football was played as a gladiator sport", he said. There are risks with many things we do in America. He noted that tackle football is a choice. He says he has not noticed any symptoms of CTE, but plans to donate his brain for research when he dies. Children under 12 would still be able to participate in all other athletic activities offered by organized youth sports programs. The proposed legislation is sponsored by State Rep. Carole Sente. I can't help but think that the accumulation of hits would have been reduced had he at least if he had been precluded from playing in those early years. "There's no more important responsibility than leading our young children".

On the other hand, supporters of the bill say the risks are higher for the young players.

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