Last week, in a surprising but welcome move, Naperville’s School District 203 announced that beginning next year, the middle school tackle football program will be replaced with flag football. Naperville’s School District 204 made a similar decision earlier in April. The announcements came after several seasons of decreasing participation in the sport and growing parental concern about their children’s safety, particularly with regard to concussions.
The personal injury lawyers at The Collins Law Firm applaud this decision. For a while now, we have been following the discussions surrounding football and the emerging studies on the long-term health effects from sustaining concussions, and we feel that it is time to take action to protect children.
Moved by a similar concern for children’s safety, Illinois state representative Carol Sente proposed the Dave Duerson Act in January of this year. Under her bill, children under 12 would be barred from playing tackle football. The bill is named for former Bears standout, Dave Duerson, who was diagnosed before his death with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma.