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Coaches to Rally Against Proposed Tackle Football Ban

6:41 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Local youth football coaches are striking back against the recent ban proposed on tackle football.

They'll take part in a rally, being held by State Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo), Thursday at 3pm at Johnnie B. Wiley Stadium in Buffalo.

If the legislation passes, tackle youth football will be banned for children under 11-years-old.  Demeris Johnson, director of the Sports Plus Program, a community action organization in Buffalo, said the decision for youths to participate in tackle football should be left up to parents.

"That's not something that should be legislated by the state," said Johnson. "So we really just want to come out and let the people know that we're not going to stand for just anybody trying to push any piece of legislation over on our community."

Johnson said he will rally to support youth.

"We're attending so that the opportunity for youth football is not deprived or taken away from our youth," he said.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx) proposed the ban last week, citing concern over the future health risks of concussions and other injuries in young children.

Johnson acknowledged the health risks of tackle football, but said a ban is an overreaction.

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