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Bill would ban tackle football leagues in New York for children under 13

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 23:35:03-05

A New York lawmaker is trying again with legislation that would prohibit children 13 and younger from playing in organized tackle football leagues.
    
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto's bill would affect both community and school leagues. It's intended to prevent head injuries in children whose developing brains are at greater risk of permanent harm.
    
The Bronx Democrat said Tuesday that critics accuse him of trying to "ruin" a deeply ingrained part of American culture.
    
Benedetto says he is trying to save football from its own dangers, and that it's safer for kids to play non-tackle football until they're a bit older.
    
Benedetto says some lawmakers tell him they support his idea but think it would turn off voters.

Joe fisher was just 13 when he suffered a concussion while playing in a tackle-football league. Fisher, was taken to the hospital, and didn't recover for a year. He's advocating for the tackle ban.

"It's your brain, it's not an arm or a leg...it's your brain. Once you injure that it affects your entire life," he said.

Some parents, like Alan and Stephanie Hostettler believe that it's not about banning tackling, but about proper education for safe tackles.

"Everyday we do tackling drills and we make sure their heads are up," Alan said. 

The bill has been introduced repeatedly in recent years but hasn't received a vote.