Assembly Bill 2108 sponsored by Assembly Members Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), “…would prohibit any person who is not at least 12 years of age from playing tackle football with a youth sports organization.” Youth Football advocates are fighting back against this. Rallies were held in Sacramento and at Townsend Field in Santa Clara on Sunday, April 22 to bring opponents of the bill together to let them know what they can do to fight the bill.
To some, AB2108, the Safe Youth Football Act, is desperately needed to protect children from the potentially devastating effects of repeated concussions.
Opponents of the bill feel it represents a gross overstep by the government in how they raise their children and that the body of research cited is dubious and not conclusive. They also point out by teaching younger children how to tackle properly, more serious injuries at the high school level can be avoided as the art of tackling will already be ingrained and understood.
Opponents included Sally from the south bay. “This is politically motivated. It’s an election year and the assembly members don’t care. If they did, why don’t they go after youth soccer, rugby, cheerleading, lacrosse or baseball? This is just like the gas tax increase—it’s another of a tax on us people that can least afford it—the poor. If Pop Warner don’t (sic) exist, where will my youngest son and his friends go? Gangs are in our neighborhood. I’m a single mom and I have to work two jobs to pay for rent, put food on the table. Pop Warner Football brought my Russell back home to me and away from the gangs he was running with. A 7-year-old child in a gang.”
“He’s learning self-respect, respect for others and teamwork,” continued Sally, listing the benefits football has on her son. “He’s doing better in school—he never got a B and now he’s getting B’s and got his first A in math class. I couldn’t believe it. This nonsense means he’ll probably wind up in a gang and then dead or in prison. But these politicians don’t care about us. They don’t care about the poor. They only care about us when they run for office and can say how much they care.”
For more information on AB2108, visit https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB2108.
For more information on the movement to Save Youth Football, visit saveyouthfootball.com