The NFL, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers offered support and thanks to Pennsylvania and Governor Tom Corbett, who signed Senate Bill 200 yesterday. The bill protects young athletes and fosters head injury awareness in youth sports.
The new legislation, sponsored by Senator Patrick Browne, will prevent students from returning to play until they have been cleared by appropriate medical professional and requires training and education for teachers, coaches, and school personnel on the signs and treatment of head injuries. In addition, athletes who demonstrate signs or symptoms of concussion must be removed from play or practice immediately.
The NFL, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers have actively supported the passage of this law.
"This is an important piece of legislation and marks a big step forward in creating a greater awareness and protections for our young athletes in Pennsylvania," said Steelers president ART ROONEY II. "We appreciate the efforts of our state legislature and Governor Corbett."
"Education, awareness and safe practices are vital to keeping players healthy at every level of sports, said Eagles president JOE BANNER. "This is important legislation for players and parents alike, and we are glad to see it pass."
Laws like these are inspired by Zackery Lystedt who, in 2006, suffered a brain injury following his return to a middle school football game after sustaining a concussion. Zackery, his family and a broad range of medical, business and community partners, including the NFL, lobbied the Washington state legislature for a law to protect young athletes in all sports from returning to play too soon.
In May 2010, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent letters to governors of 44 states that did not have concussion laws urging them to pass a law similar to the Lystedt Law. In the letter, Commissioner Goodell said sports and political leaders can help raise awareness of concussions while ensuring proper and effective treatment.
Since the passage of the Lystedt Law in 2009, 31 states, have passed similar laws protecting young athletes.
To learn more about the NFL's commitment to health and about the Lystedt Law, visit www.nflhealthandsafety.com.