NFL urges states to adopt concussion law

Though it took a while for the NFL to wake up to the problem of concussions in football, the giant has emerged from his slumber, he’s had his coffee, and he’s chased it with a six-pack of Red Bull.

Last week, Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to the governors of 44 states that have not yet passed a law that prevent youth athletes with concussions from being prematurely permitted to return to action.  In the letter, Goodell urges the governors to “support legislation that would better protect your state’s young athletes by mandating a more formal and aggressive approach to treatment of concussions.”

Goodell’s letter cites the Lystedt Law, which was adopted by Washington in 2009 after 13-year-old Zackery Lystedt was permitted to play in a game after suffering a concussion.  He then suffered life-threatening injuries, which ultimately turned out to be life-altering.

Goodell’s letter points out that the Lystedt Law has three key elements:  (1) athletes, parents, and coaches must be educated about the dangers of concussions each year; (2) if a young athlete is suspected of having a concussion, he or she must be removed from a game or practice and not permitted to return; and (3) a licensed health care professional must clear the young athlete to return to play in subsequent days or weeks.

We’re in the process of getting a list of the 44 states who have yet to pass such a law (Alabama is one of them), and we’ll be asking PFT Planet to contact their local representatives in the hopes of helping push this law through in every state — and more importantly to help ensure that all youth coaches recognize the potential significance of what was once (and still is) brushed off as a “bell ringing.”

9 responses to “NFL urges states to adopt concussion law

  1. It’s about time the NFL showed some concern to concussions and players welfare………maybe someday it will carry over to making players aware of illegal over the counter drugs before they entrap them.

  2. The NFL has enough to worry about with the frequency of concussions in the NFL.
    When the NFL significantly reduces the amount of concussions in the NFL then it can start telling everybody how it’s done.
    This is just grandstanding.

  3. GOOD!!! This, despite Goodell’s conduct policies, is the most important move he’s made thus far IMO. I’ll be jumping on the bandwagon to support this legislation.

  4. How ironic! The NFL pushing for a law that they will eventually flaunt. The NFL is fast becoming one of the biggest and most powerful corporations in the world. Seems inevitable that they would also now be making laws.

  5. As a guy who has racked up 8 medically diagnosed concussions and several others where I got the “you just got your bell rung” sideline diagnosis, I don’t care if this just the NFL grandstanding, ass-covering, or whatever-the-hell-else. Anything that makes people actively protect the noggins of young people who participate in sport is a good thing and should be applauded.

  6. I was’nt finished….Good job Goodell of diverting attention from the Norman Hand story and all that it has to say about another serious health issue in the NFL.

  7. Some of you making comments need to look at the big picture and realize how important this is to youth and high school football players. Who cares what the NFL’s whats from this if it help the boys and girls playing the sport. Grow up guys and think before you talk! Always look for the positive in everything!!

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