Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, on Friday criticized a legislative proposal to ban youth football in New York. The bill, which was introduced earlier this week, seeks to prohibit children younger than 11 from playing organized tackle football anywhere in the state.
"Parents should be the ones who decide what sports their children should play and at what age, not politicians," Ceretto said. "While I understand the safety concerns, these same concerns could be raised for a number of sports, including hockey, wrestling and even little league baseball. Safety precautions and rules in these sports have been continually updated to make them as safe as possible, and I think banning football or any of these sports for our youth would be a terrible mistake."
Ceretto said this bill further demonstrates a penchant for overreaction by too many legislators in Albany.
"Football and other team sports help to build confidence in young people, they teach them discipline and leadership skills and promote active and healthy lifestyles," he said. "If a child's parent has safety concerns, then they, not the New York State Legislature, should weigh the pluses and minuses of whether or not they want their children to participate in the sport."