A New York assemblyman has introduced a bill which, if passed, could ban all children in the state under the age of 11 from playing organized tackle football.
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto's proposed legislation comes as the national debate regarding football is heating up. President Obama recently said he would have to think long and hard about letting his son play football, and numerous former professional football players have joined lawsuits against the NFL.
While the idea of banning football has been brought up at the local level, the New York Daily News reported that Benedetto's state-wide proposal may be the first in the nation.
“I want to protect the children,” Benedetto told the Daily News. "I want them to get an appreciation of the game but I also don’t want them to come out of this wonderful sport in a damaged condition."
John Butler, Pop Warner Football's executive director, told the Daily News that children are more likely to suffer concussions during a skateboarding or biking incident than while playing tackle football.
"This is absolutely the first we have heard of any state doing something like this,” Butler said. “Frankly, it is disturbing."