Former Huntley Youth Football president opposes proposed ban on tackle football for children
Jean-Paul Velazquez, former president of Huntley Youth Football, has said he does not approve of Illinois’ proposed ban on tackle football for children under 12 years old.
Velazquez told McHenry Times that children younger than 10 do not inflict enough physical force to cause concussions or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease caused by repeated head injuries.
He added that he has never seen an 8-year-old with a concussion over his 20-year career.
State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) recently introduced the Dave Duerson Act to prevent the risk of CTE among young football players.
The proposed legislation is named after the former Chicago Bears player who suffered from CTE and committed suicide in 2011 at age 50.
“Football at the youth level is where most play, if I had 75 eighth grade boys, 50 played freshman football and by varsity it would be 12 to 15 maybe,” Velazquez said.
He noted that the number of concussion cases in youth football is declining.