A bill to ban kids from playing tackle football has taken a major hit. One state lawmaker calls the bill "likely dead" after she yanked her support.
After an Illinois House committee passed a bill that would ban organized tackle football for kids under 12, fired up coaches and parents pounced on lawmakers.
Now, Representative Natalie Manley from Joliet is yanking her support.
“Does not have the votes and since I have told her I would not be supporting House Bill 4341, it is likely dead,” Manley said.
The bill's backers say not so fast. It's called the "Dave Duerson Act" - named after the Bears player who was found to have CTE, a degenerative brain disease, after his death.
Bill sponsor Representative Carol Sente says research shows kids can also develop brain disease with what's called sub-concussive hits. That, Sente says, happens in every play.
“The child does not come home with sub concussive hits and say my head hurts because they're just cumulative and of the level they don't know what's happening,” Sente said.
“She wants to ban something that's dangerous, ban pro football... those are the guys that end up being hurt,” said Adam Campbell.
Long time youth football coach Adam Campbell says they increased concussion training and decreased hits in the Chicagoland youth football league, so a tackle ban isn't necessary.
“You know what we're trying to do with kids, we're trying to wrap them in bubble wrap and then let them go at 18 to some college and say, ok, you're on your own.. you can't wrap kids in bubble wrap,” Campbell said.
Bill backers believe years from now everyone will wish they had acted sooner when more young players end up with brain disease.
“I think we will see this and say had I known that, I would have made a different decision for my child,” Sente said.
Dave Duerson's son, Tregg, tells FOX 32 it's time to let emotions settle down. Then, he will work to re-educate parents and legislators so this debate is just getting started.