New York Lawmakers Considering Ban on Youth Tackle Football

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NEW YORK — A former college football player suffering from early dementia is among those urging New York state legislators to ban tackle football for children under 12.

T.J. Abraham, a 42-year-old doctor, testified Tuesday at a state Assembly committee hearing in Manhattan. He talked about the brain damage that he says has destroyed his medical practice and everyday life.

The New York State Assembly’s health committee also heard doctors and other experts talk about a possible ban that lawmakers have yet to formalize.

The proposal follows a Boston University study reporting that children who play tackle football may develop cognitive, behavioral and mood problems.

Scott Hallenbeck, the executive director of USA Football, argued that his national governing body has made the sport safer than ever with protective measures for young athletes.