ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Over the years, football has sparked concerns about injuries.
Most notably back in January, Bills player, Damar Hamlin, received life saving CPR after going into cardiac arrest after making a tackle.
But long before Hamlin’s medical emergency—10 years to be exact, New York Assemblyman Michael Benedetto has been trying to pass legislation to ban tackle football for kids 12 and under as a way to prevent head injuries.
“Repeated hits to the head has been proven to be the causation of CTE— a brain damage that causes the inability to focus, problems sleeping, problems concentrating, anger,” explained Benedetto.
He said around the age of 12, the brain develops 95% capacity in the human skull.
“When it’s that large, it can better withstand any blows to the head, any falls to the ground,” said Benedetto.
Pediatrician, Dr. Jim Saperstone, is on the fence.
“I don’t have strong views either way, but I do think it’s important for the pediatrician or the primary care doctor taking care of children to really council parents on the subtleties of head injuries.”
A St. Bonaventure/ Siena Poll released earlier this month found only 1/3 (37%) of Americans are concerned football is too dangerous for young people to play.
“I’ve received many emails condemning me infringing upon the rights of parents and I’m anti-American with this great American sport,” said Benedetto. “And I don’t want to prevent children from playing sports.”
For the first time, Benedetto’s bill has a sponsor in the state Senate. He’s hoping this year it will finally get passed.