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NFL urges 19 states to pass Lystedt Law

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The NFL successfully has pushed for 31 states and the District of Columbia to pass the Zackery Lystedt Law, named for a youth football player in Washington who suffered a serious brain injury after staying in a game despite suffering a concussion.

Per the Associated Press, Commissioner Roger Goodell and NCAA President Mark Emmert sent letters today to the 19 remaining states that have yet to pass the law.

The law mandates the removal from a game or practice of any youth athlete who shows the signs of a concussion, and it prohibits the player from returning to action until receiving clearance from a licensed health care professional with training in concussion evaluation and management.

Here’s hoping that the 19 remaining states do the right thing — and that all youth coaches, especially football coaches, put winning behind protecting the health of every child entrusted to them.

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34 Responses to “NFL urges 19 states to pass Lystedt Law”
  1. vikingdoode says: Jan 12, 2012 9:33 PM

    Well yeah……

  2. earthtopft says: Jan 12, 2012 9:52 PM

    Get your act together states, or Roger Goodell will extradite you to the Horn of Africa. After seizing your assets.

  3. eleventyeight says: Jan 12, 2012 9:52 PM

    Or, every football organization from the NFL on down could switch to helmets with a soft, cushioned outer shell that much more effectivelly absorbs impact and mandates heads-up, wrap-the-arms tackling form we all USED to be taught before the Era of the ESPN Highlight Reel.

    It would be very easy to create soft-shelled helmets that look as flashy as the current helmets, like Don Beebe of the Bills used during The Run.


  4. infectorman says: Jan 12, 2012 9:52 PM

    Its a start, at least

  5. eleventyeight says: Jan 12, 2012 9:54 PM

    “Put yer chin on the ball and wrap that sucker up, son!”

  6. conseannery says: Jan 12, 2012 9:56 PM

    Or, you know, coaches and youth/scholastic athletic associations could just look out for the health and well-being of their players and we wouldn’t need yet another law on the books.

  7. nothimagain says: Jan 12, 2012 10:04 PM

    The only problem I see with this is there’s a great deal of kids/families who can barely afford the annual high school physical. Who’s going to pay for what essentially amounts to a neurologist?

    And so now non-qualified medical people can make medical decisions that can only be overturned by actual medical professionals? Yeah, I don’t see a lawsuit coming either.

  8. goforthanddie says: Jan 12, 2012 10:09 PM

    How could anyone oppose this?

  9. earthtopft says: Jan 12, 2012 10:21 PM

    Roger’s letter to the states was curteous, but firm, and concluded with the words “Don’t make me come down there.”.

  10. trainman59 says: Jan 12, 2012 10:22 PM

    Why would a state not pass this law?

  11. cdsaints says: Jan 12, 2012 10:44 PM

    Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help. smh

  12. duanethomas says: Jan 12, 2012 10:57 PM

    Mississippi wouldn’t pass it, they pardon murderers though….

  13. randomcommenter says: Jan 12, 2012 11:17 PM

    wouldn’t this mean that every team from high school to pee wee would have to have a person trained in concussion evaluation at every single practice and game? Is that feasible?

    We’ve seen kids die of unexpected heart problems in various sports. Should there be a cardiologist at every practice?

    I’m all for making the game safe, but at some point you have to accept the fact that the game has some risks.

    Training coaches and parents/volunteers to look for signs of concussion is a good idea. Mandating by law that a health care professional be at every football practice in America seems reactionary.

  14. Deb says: Jan 12, 2012 11:23 PM

    I support the Lystedt Law and pray it will be passed nationwide. But could Goodell be a bigger hypocrite? Yeah, he wants to be sure high schools have qualified doctors on hand to clear kids. But despite all his posturing, the Browns incident revealed multi-billion-dollar NFL teams weren’t really required to medically clear their athletes before sending them back in. Or does he think we’ve forgotten the whole Colt Coverup?

  15. shlort says: Jan 12, 2012 11:52 PM

    I thought the same thing as nothimagain when I read the article. Sounds like there could be costs into the tens of thousands of dollars to be paid before a youth athlete could return. So, basically, this law will hurt the working poor (you know, they make to much to get free insurance, but not enough to buy it). A law like this will put an end to many small football programs around the country. I’m not saying that there shouldnt be something done to reduce the risk of permanant injury, but the costs should also be addressed.

  16. athleticmedic says: Jan 13, 2012 12:21 AM


    Read the words carefully…it doesn’t say “doctor”, it says “qualified medical professional”. BIG difference, it depends on that definition according to the law…

  17. athleticmedic says: Jan 13, 2012 12:22 AM

    Actually, I read it wrong…it says “health care professional” that could be even more vague!

  18. klunge says: Jan 13, 2012 12:23 AM

    goforthanddie says:Jan 12, 2012 10:09 PM

    How could anyone oppose this?

    It’s not opposition. It’s unfortunately something even worse…apathy.

  19. themonster49 says: Jan 13, 2012 12:59 AM

    Thank you.

  20. evilmajortom says: Jan 13, 2012 1:20 AM

    What’s the penalty for noncompliance? Who would it be enforced against?

  21. jmmisview says: Jan 13, 2012 2:38 AM

    To me its a no brainer. The NFL needs to protect its future players. The NFL should fund any and all expenses pertaining to brain injuries or ailments as a result of a football injury. I mean what else is there to do with 8 Billion $? Split it with players or something?

  22. bearsstillsuck says: Jan 13, 2012 4:17 AM

    That has to be made into law?

  23. brewcrewfan54 says: Jan 13, 2012 5:53 AM

    Coaches can’t see everything but now we’re going to prosecute a coach when he does miss something?

  24. bealeman says: Jan 13, 2012 6:11 AM

    Another ‘Law’ to replace common sense.

  25. sudz28 says: Jan 13, 2012 6:38 AM

    It’s a shame something so obvious needs to be put into a ‘law’. It would be nice if the coaches would simply look out for their player’s health as a responsible adult in charge of younger kids, but if it takes a law then pass the law. I hate seeing kids or even professionals hurt playing the game I love so much.

  26. EJ says: Jan 13, 2012 6:57 AM

    Not only did Don Beebe rock the extra padded helmet, another Buffalo Bills player did too, Mark Kelso.
    The NFL should mandate that every player wear these type of helmets. I’m sure it would save some from receiving a concussion.

  27. dickroy says: Jan 13, 2012 7:09 AM

    Deb says:
    I support the Lystedt Law and pray it will be passed nationwide. But could Goodell be a bigger hypocrite? Yeah, he wants to be sure high schools have qualified doctors on hand to clear kids. But despite all his posturing, the Browns incident revealed multi-billion-dollar NFL teams weren’t really required to medically clear their athletes before sending them back in. Or does he think we’ve forgotten the whole Colt Coverup?
    This is worth repeating!

  28. macbull says: Jan 13, 2012 7:19 AM


    They get concussions because the equipment they are using has not kept up with the changing times. Athletes are bigger, stronger and faster, but helmets have evolved.

    Many do not understand this fact…today’s football helmet is not much different than the helmets I used, playing HS and College football in the late 60s and early 70s.

    …a rock hard plastic outer shell with foam pads and inflatable air pads on the inside of the helmet.

    There is no doubt, more padding is needed to cushion the blow of helmet to helmet contact…but there is only so much room on the inside of a helmet to add additional padding.

    The logical solution is to add more padding, to the “outside” of the helmet.

    Helmets with padding added to the outside have been used by NFL players, and “they worked”..Willie Lanier, Mark Kelso, Steve Wallace…look it up!

    If Roger Goodell and Mark Emmert are really concerned about the safety of youth football players, why not push for safer helmets that will dramatic reduce/eliminate concussions…helmets with an additional layer of padding added to the outside of the rock hard plastic outer shell?

    Today’s youth need safer helmets…not another law.

    …jmho, mac

  29. test2402 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:19 AM

    Just keep Tim Tebow from getting a head injury.

  30. steelerdynasty2010 says: Jan 13, 2012 8:25 AM

    if you need a law to make this happen, re-evaluate your coaching staffs immediately

  31. freedomispopular says: Jan 13, 2012 9:09 AM

    Why would anyone oppose this? Because it’s another knee-jerk reaction by the government. Think about the potential extra costs that every football team will have to pick up. Then also consider that this is a band aid that doesn’t deal with the cause of the problem. Poor tackling form and lack of helmet evolution are probably the top causes of concussions. But no, let’s just force more laws down everyone’s throats.

  32. steelersmichele says: Jan 13, 2012 9:18 AM

    While I agree it should be passed, its interesting the NFL is pushing for it so hard considering the NFL hasn’t successfully followed it themselves.

  33. kellyb9 says: Jan 13, 2012 9:22 AM

    Word on the street is that Roger is fining the states that don’t pass this law.

  34. arizonapetdoctor says: Jan 13, 2012 9:43 AM

    Most high school games have paramedics waiting by (past the endzone, etc.) in case of a traumatic injury. Properly trained emergency medical personnel are trained to detect neurologic injuries, and they need not be doctors. The problem will arise with the pop-warner divisions (since injuries which occur in high school games should be covered by the school’s insurance rider). I could see a situation where these leagues go to the “soft” helmets and teaching proper tackling technique just to avoid these problems, and the associated medical costs to the families. Personally, I think that the NFL likes the hard helmets due to the “cracking” and “crunching” sounds made during the big hits which they can replay again and again on television.

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