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Illinois House committee advances tackle football ban

March 2, 2018 / Football
An Illinois House committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would ban tackle football statewide for children under the age of 12.

The bill now heads to the full House, where legislators will debate and vote on the measure. The Mental Health Committee narrowly approved the bill, 11-9, after hearing testimony from former NFL player Chris Borland and Tregg Duerson. The Dave Duerson Act got its name from Tregg’s father, a former Chicago Bear who took his own life in 2011 and requested that his brain be examined.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Duerson’s son was on hand for an Illinois House committee meeting at the Capitol for the debate over the proposal named for his father. Banning tackling for children is meant to prevent chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that has been linked to repetitive head trauma.

State legislative committee hearings often can be long, monotone debates. On Thursday, though, a former NFL linebacker hit a child-sized mannequin to the hearing room floor in an attempt to demonstrate the danger of concussions, knocking off its Chicago Bears helmet in the process.

“For a youngster at six or seven who’s playing,” former San Francisco 49er Chris Borland said as he hit the mannequin’s helmet with another helmet, “that’s an ugly, violent, nasty concussion that we’re all scared of. You can take some of that out of the game.”

Three states are considering bans on tackling in youth football — Illinois, Maryland and California. Proposals in Maryland and California have not yet been considered by a legislative body.

Click here to read more from the Chicago Tribune.


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