Reactions have not been positive for supporters of a bill that would outlaw tackle football for middle and elementary school children in Massachusetts.
A bill filed by Democratic state representatives Bradley Jones Jr. and Paul Schmid has proposed to prohibit children in seventh grade and below from playing tackle football in youth leagues or school as a way to prohibit serious brain injuries for children, the Fall River (Mass.) Herald News reports.
It prompted a serious backlash from youth sports officials and has gradually continued for football fans across the commonwealth.
New England Patriots center David Andrews was one of the most fervent opponents, tweeting his opposition to banning his avocation among children.
This is really sad to me as someone who has played this game since I was 6 years old. I understand people’s concerns with children playing and I respect that. But let parents and kids decide if they want to play or not. https://t.co/S3WrFrxN5T
— David Andrews (@dandrews61) February 26, 2019
Other petitions have popped up across the state.
If signed into law, the bill would prohibit no child in grade seven or under to play, practice, or otherwise participate in organized tackle football. Any school, league, or other entity found in violation of the proposed law would subject a civil penalty of no more than $2,000, which increased to $5,000 for subsequent violations within 12 months of the first. Violations that result in serious physical harm to a participant would result in a $10,000 fine.
The Massachusetts bill is not the first to propose such restrictions.
Lawmakers in New York, New Jersey, California and Maryland all have debated several proposals. But none of them have approved such a ban.
So what are your thoughts?
Do the potential injury concerns of football outweigh positive benefits for children and young players?
And would you support similar legislation in Texas?