A year ago the NFL began urging state legislatures to adopt laws designed to protect young athletes from suffering concussions on the field of play.
The latest state to pass such a law was Illinois, and the Chicago Bears were quick to praise the legislation.
“The Bears commend the General Assembly for recognizing the steps that must be taken to further protect Illinois children and young student-athletes from preventable concussions and other brain injuries,” Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips said in a statement.
The law forces school boards to work within the Illinois High School Association’s concussion guidelines, which mandate that players removed from games because of head injuries not be permitted to return to play or practice without written permission from a health-care provider.
The NFL has implemented its own rules about taking players out when they suffer concussions and keeping them out until they’re cleared, although there’s still some resistance to those rules from the players themselves. The NFL is hoping that as high school football players learn to treat concussions as an injury they can’t just shake off, the attitude will eventually shift at the professional level as well.