Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 10/23/14
The discussions over the increasing number of football head injuries are sprouting up everywhere from Pop Warner fields, high school gyms, the NFL Commissioner's office and all the way up the the White House. Suggestions on how to stem the tide of serious, long-lasting health concerns have included everything from upgrading equipment, limiting what constitutes a legal tackle and/or fining and suspending players for flagrant hits. Now one New York politician wants to take it one step further and has quietly introduced legislation to prohibit children younger than 11 from playing organized tackle football anywhere in the state, according to The New York Daily News. "I want to protect the children," said Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benedetto. "I want them to get an appreciation of the game but I also don't want them to come out of this wonderful sport in a damaged condition." Benedetto's push to ban the sport for children is the first such proposal in the nation. President Obama recently publicized the debate over kids playing football when he said he would think twice about allowing a son, if he had one, to play football. And a newly-released book by Dr. Robert Cantu, a Boston neurosurgeon, urged kids under 14 to avoid the sport altogether. Benedetto agrees with the doctor's assertion that big hits on little children could be hazardous to their health in the future. "I think the evidence is now out there that kind of warrants another look at youth activities," he said Friday. Youth football officials have debunked Benedetto's bill as an overreaction to a few high-profile incidents involving college and pro players. "This is absolutely the first we have heard of any state doing something like this," said John Button, executive director of Pop Warner Football. "Frankly, it is disturbing." More than 250,000 children — some as young as 5 — play tackle football in Pop Warner leagues across the country. Benedetto said it's too early to tell whether the bill will pass the Assembly this session and is still looking for a sponsor to take it to the State Senate. State Sen. Martin Golden gave the proposal little chance of success in the conservative Senate. "Somebody always wants to regulate something," he said. "And regulating 6 and 7-year-olds playing football is not the place to do it." Still. Where's there's smoke, there's fire — especially with the blades of the helicopter-parent society of today fanning the flames.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mich. St. upset with Michigan over spear planted on field

TCU puts up 82 points in win over Texas Tech

Agent: Joe Maddon prepared to sit out season if need be

Report: Chandler Jones could miss rest of season

Report: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law

Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing

Report: Shonn Greene arrested after parking in handicap spot

Report: Joe Maddon wants a very hefty salary

LSU knocks off No. 3 Ole Miss

Miss. St. returns onside kick for TD in win over Kentucky

Bad idea: Couple goes blackface for Ray Rice Halloween costume

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

PHOTO: Blue Jackets forward came real close to losing his eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Couple in Ray Rice Blackface costume

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.