California legislators wanted to ban tackle football for players under the age of 12. California Governor Gavin Newsom pulled the football away before it could be kicked.
Via Politico.com, Newsom vetoed on Tuesday night a proposed ban on youth tackle football. The move apparently cut off a plan to make the California measure a new culture-war talking point.
Newsom still wants to make tackle football safer.
“I am deeply concerned about the health and safety of our young athletes, but an outright ban is not the answer,” Newsom said in a statement. “My administration will work with the Legislature and the bill’s author to strengthen safety in youth football — while ensuring parents have the freedom to decide which sports are most appropriate for their children.”
Ultimately, it should be up to parents to decide whether their children should or shouldn't play, at any age under 18. All parents know the risks, by now. They should be allowed to decide whether to let their children play, and if so at what age.
Are there risks? Absolutely. It's for the parents to decide whether to assume the risks.
And the risks should be properly managed. Effective protocols are critical for removing players from games, especially if they potentially have suffered head injuries. Certain techniques should be prevented in practice. Efforts should be made to minimize helmet-to-helmet hits.
That can be done without banning tackle football. It should be done. Hopefully in all states it will be done.