Warren Sapp: Eliminate tackling in youth football leaguesNFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp says changes must be made to improve the long-term health of football players, and that starts by eliminating tackling in all youth leagues.
Sapp, a seven-time Pro Bowler who won a Super Bowl in 2003 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has joined the fight against debilitating brain injuries in his post-football career. In a letter and video on The Players’ Tribune, Sapp said he has witnessed former players suffering from CTE, and he’s even having trouble with his own memory.Sapp announced last week that when he dies, he will donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for research.
Here are Sapp’s comments on youth football, with the full video below:
“So, the game is getting better. Let’s just make it all the way better for everybody involved. Especially the youth.
“I’m talking about 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 (year olds). We eliminate the tackle football for all the kids, we put them on equal playing fields so that all their brains develop and then, when high school, now let’s go. Now let’s pick out a four-year plan for you to find the college you want to go to, play the game you know and love, and be good at it.
“That’s the biggest thing. Make it safer for everybody that’s involved.”
Former NFL quarterback Shaun Hill has voiced his own concerns over tackling in youth football. Last year, he succeeded in convincing his hometown of Parsons, Kansas, to eliminate tackling in its youth football program.
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