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September 9, 2011 > NFL supports bill to protect young athletes

NFL supports bill to protect young athletes

Submitted By Clare Graff

The NFL commends the California legislature which passed Assembly Bill 25 on September 6, 2011. The bill, which now moves to the governor's office, protects young athletes and fosters head injury awareness in youth sports.

The bill contains three core components: 1) a youth athlete suspected of suffering a concussion in school sports cannot return to play that same day; 2) once removed from play, an after-school youth athlete cannot return to play until they have been evaluated and cleared to play by a licensed medical professional; and 3) parents must complete an education form before their child's participation in the youth sports activity.

AB 25 was authored by Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi and Senator Tony Strickland and is strongly supported by the NFL, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, educators, youth sports organizations and health professionals. It was co-sponsored by Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker John A. Perez and Senator Alex Padilla.

"Player health and safety needs to be a top priority for all ages and all levels," said A.G. Spanos, the Chargers' executive vice president and chief executive officer. "We applaud the California legislature for recognizing the importance of preventing and treating concussions, particularly among young athletes."

Laws like these are inspired by Zackery Lystedt who, in 2006, suffered a brain injury following his return to a middle school football game after sustaining a concussion. Since the passage of the Lystedt Law in 2009, 29 states have passed similar laws protecting young athletes.

To learn more about the NFL's commitment to health and about the Lystedt Law, visit www.NFLHealthAndSafety.com.

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