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Pop Warner doesn’t support youth tackle football ban bill

January 26, 2018
Tregg Duerson, left, son of former Chicago Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, listens to former Bears running back Mike Adamle after the pair stood in support if the Dave Duerson Act to Prevent CTE during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Chicago. The Dave Duerson Act would ban tackle football for Illinois children younger than 12 years old. Last year, Adamle said he was diagnosed with dementia, and that his doctor saw signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. He believes this and the past 19 years of epileptic seizures resulted from his concussions in football. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Pop Warner youth football program says it doesn’t agree with banning football for young people after legislation was unveiled in Illinois prohibiting tackle football for children under 12.

Pop Warner spokesperson Brian Heffron says the organization “can’t imagine elected officials mandating to parents which sports their children can play.”

Illinois state Rep. Carol Sente on Thursday filed the Dave Duerson Act to Prevent CTE named for the Chicago Bears defensive back who was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE has been linked to concussions or repeated head trauma.

Heffron says Pop Warner has focused on improving the game and offers parents the option of tackle or flag football.

Supporters of the legislation say the measure isn’t meant to ban tackle football, it’s meant to protect children.

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