Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 2/10/13

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.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Jordan wants Warriors to break Bulls record

Joe Mauer says concussions have affected his hitting

Kobe once tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to Lakers

Report: Broncos waiting on Manning to talk with Osweiler

NBA commish wants to look into hack-a-player issue

Report: Jose Fernandez has 'soured' on Marlins brass

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Dustin Johnson's son steals Jordan Spieth's club

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker