It’s no secret that football is one of the most violent sports on the planet. On nearly each play, bodies are flying into each other at full speed, and there’s opportunity for injury on each play. However, it’s not a torn ACL or a broken arm that is worrying parents… it’s a lifetime of bumps to the head that cause irreversible brain damage (CTE), which come with starting tackle football at a young age.
Nevertheless, football is a beloved sport here in the US, whether it involves playing or watching, and I have to selfishly admit that these conversations about banning tackle football have some fans concerned that the game they love could disappear.
California is one of the few states that is making steps to ban tackle football, as the Assembly committee that regulates sports in the state voted 5-2 on a bill that will ban tackle football under the age of 12. The vote was made to send the bill to full chamber, which is one of four votes the proposal must go through.
With that being said, one NFL legend is actually backing up this bill, and it’s no other than former Patriots and Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“I think it’s a fair proposal, and I’m for it. I love the game of football, and I love that these kids want to play the game of football. But to play the game of football at such a young age, I think, it’s a little dangerous.”
Gronk went on to say that he would rather see flag football replace tackle for kids under 12:
“What I would propose and what I think should be marketed out there more is flag football. These kids should be playing flag football. You can still garner attention of the game of football.
You can also develop your skills in the game of football through flag football. Flag football is fun to play. I loved playing flag when I was growing up.
To have flag football for kids under 12, I think, is an excellent idea, and I think they shouldn’t be playing tackle football or the real game of football until about seventh grade.”