It stuns me that certain politicians are comparing the unfortunate CTE issues experienced by former NFL football players to youth players enjoying a great team sport with their friends . . .
Some factors that should be considered when evaluating the current state of youth football:
NFL Football Pre-2010:
Youth Football Post-2010:
I am also saddened by the procedural unfairness of the most recent news-grabbing committee vote in the State of Illinois legislature where many opponents of the current proposal to ban youth football were not given enough notice of the proceeding to testify. Most notably, as reported by the Associated Press . . .
Dr. Cynthia LaBella, sports medicine director at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, submitted written testimony arguing there is no evidence that eliminating tackle football would prevent CTE. Lurie Hospital is taking no position on the legislation's merits but urges lawmakers to consider alternatives to prohibiting traditional youth football. "Injuries are more likely to occur when improper and illegal technique, such as spear tackling, is used," LaBella wrote. "As such, efforts should be made to improve the teaching of proper tackling technique and enforce existing rules."
No experience teaches the benefits of hard work, discipline, self-sacrifice and teamwork more than youth football. Additionally, lost in all of this political rhetoric is the fact that it’s just plain fun for kids to play!
Finally, on a personal note, my son Riley would easily count his experience playing football as one of the most influential and positive in his life. He played youth football for St. Raphael, high school at Naperville Central and went on to play a year at NIU. He did suffer one concussion . . . playing basketball on the playground at Scott School in 3rd grade!
Yours in football,
President, St, Raphael Football, Inc.
A non-profit organization in Naperville, IL which provides a positive and nurturing football program to players from 6 to 14 years old.
|St. Raphael Football|
|931 W 75th Street
|Phone: (630) 527-9244|