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Football’s Days are Numbered: State of Mass. Mulls Ban on Youth Football

One day, you may have to explain to your great grandkids what the Super Bowl was.

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Another straw has been loaded onto football’s creaking back in Massachusetts as the state legislature considers a ban on kids playing tackle football.

Not only would the new bill ban youth tackle football, but it would also impose a fine of $2,000 on any organization that might allow kids to play contact football.

This really tends to show that the game’s days are numbered, and it can’t be too many decades before it disappears entirely. With more and more parents steering kids away from the sport in the first place and more and more schools worried about lawsuits over injuries, the game is headed for the ash heap of history.

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After all, if kids don’t grow up with football in their lives, there will be fewer people interested in playing the sport, fewer kids turning out for school teams, fewer football programs in colleges, and a shrinking professional venue. It is bound to happen in the long run if things continue down the road they are on now.

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According to a bipartisan group of House members, tackle football is “more harmful to young players than previously thought,” as WGBH reported.

“We’re not banning football. Touch football, flag football, great. Up through the seventh grade, go to it,” said bill sponsor Rep. Paul Schmid (D-Westport). “What we’re saying is, for seventh grade and under, no tackle football.”

“There’s a lot of science … that says we got to be really careful with young heads,” Schmid added.

Rep. Schmid went on to insist that the state must step in to ban tackle football for the whole state because there is no state-wide authority to handle rules for youth sports.

House Minority Leader Brad Jones added that the data lawmakers used to back the ban is “just so compelling.”

“I think people need to continue to have this conversation and become more aware of it,” Jones added.

Lawmakers relied on information provided by Concussion Legacy Foundation Co-Founder Chris Nowinski, a former NFL football player.

“There’s evidence out of the Boston University CTE Center that football players who started before age 12 were worse off long-term, with higher rates of depression, higher rates of anxiety, higher rates of memory issues than those who started at 12 or later,” Nowinski said. according to WGBH.

If Massachusetts were to pass the bill, it would become the first state to ban tackle football for its children.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

 

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Hockey Coach Who’s Speech About National Anthem Went Viral Doubles Down On Remarks

The sports world needs more coaches like this guy.

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John Krupinsky, a hockey coach who recently went viral after he demanded his players respect the National Anthem, isn’t backing down from his remarks, stating the reason he’s passionate about this issue is that he’s seen too much death and disrespect. In the video in question, Krupinsky — who also serves as a police sergeant, says, “If there’s anybody here who is going to be disrespectful to either the American or the Canadian national anthem, grab your gear and get the f*** out now because you’ll never see the ice in this arena. We don’t have that problem in hockey. We’re better than that, but there was no sense in wasting anybody’s time if that s*** was going to happen.” Here’s more from TheBlaze: The assistant coach for the Danbury Hat Tricks of the Federal Hockey League discussed the video on “Fox & Friends.” “I take pride in my country,” Krupinksy said. “I’ve unfortunately seen it cover too many coffins. I think we can take a timeout to give two minutes’ worth of respect to our soldiers, to our firemen, to your policemen. I don’t think that’s asking too much. I’m not going to apologize for asking players to show a little bit of respect when it’s either the American or Canadian national anthem.” He added, “Some people said, ‘Oh you wouldn’t let your players protest.’ I wanna be clear: My players would be free to protest on their day off. If they had something they wanted to do.” When the national anthem is playing, however, it’s an entirely different story. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask your employees to show some respect for the flag and for the country,” he reasoned. The world of sports absolutely needs more men like Krupinsky to help balance out all the…

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Good Guy Shaquille O’Neal Sees Single Mother’s Social Media Post, Leaps into Action

Shaquille O’Neal was know for being a fierce competitor in the NBA, but it’s his big heart that has been on display this week.

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Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal may be one of the biggest basketball stars of all time, literally and figuratively, but that doesn’t mean that he’s forgotten where he came from. This week, word of O’Neal’s goodwill was spreading rapidly via social media, after the former pro athlete took the plight of one single mother to heart. Zach Keith, a 13-year-old middle school student who plays basketball and football, already wears a size 18 shoe. As the American average male shoe size is a 10.5, his mother, Brittany, finds it difficult not only to find a pair of shoes that will fit her son, but also a pair that she’s able to afford. Brittany, who is a single mom, posted a plea for help for her 6’2″-tall son on Instagram, writing, “if you can do anything to help I will be so appreciative.” Shaq then sprung into action. Upon learning of the family’s situation, CNN affiliate WGCL in Atlanta reached out to Shaquille O’Neal, who was more than happy to have the opportunity to pay it forward. “I reminisced back how that used to be me, my mom and my dad,” O’Neal told WGCL of Zach’s story. When O’Neal was trying to find size 18 penny loafers for his prom ensemble, his father eventually found Friedman’s Shoes in Atlanta. The owner of the shoe store, Bruce Teilhaber, gave Shaq a pair of shoes for free and ever since O’Neal, now a size 22, has frequented his business. “Bruce did it for me, and I just want to return the favor,” O’Neal said. O’Neal surprised Zach and his family at Friedman’s. There, Shaq generously bought the teenager ten pairs of shoes. The gesture overwhelmed young Zach, who was both surprised and extremely thankful for the help.

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