(Meredith) – California would become the first state to ban minors from playing organized tackle football before high school under a new bill, according to the Los Angeles Times.
State lawmakers introduced the “Safe Youth Football Act” on Thursday. The bill aims to prevent long-term brain damage caused by repetitive hits to the head in contact football, according to the newspaper.
Under the new bill, student-athletes would be allowed to play tackle football when they are high school freshmen.
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, who helped draft the proposal, said in a statement that she and other Assembly members are following the advice of medical professionals.
“The science is clear: head injuries sustained at a young age can harm kids for the rest of their lives," Gonzalez Fletcher said in a statement, according to the Times. “Developing skills through flag football before high school is sound public policy from a health and safety standpoint."
Another lawmaker, Keven McCarty, reportedly noted that NFL players like Tom Brady, Walter Payton and Jerry Rice played non-contact football.