O'Mara: Throw the flag on New York City legislator's proposal to ban youth football (Updated)

Thomas F. O'Mara

February 11, 2013

Albany, N.Y., February 11—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) today threw the flag against a New York City legislator’s proposal to ban youth football in New York State.

This morning’s New York Daily News reports that Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx) has introduced legislation “to prohibit children younger than 11 from playing organized tackle football anywhere in the state.”

O’Mara strongly rejected the idea.

“Talk about being out of bounds,” said O’Mara.  “What we need to ban is knee-jerk legislation.  What’s next?  No more fastballs in Little League?  Enough.”

He said the measure further demonstrates a penchant for overreaction by too many legislators.

“First of all, it’s a parental decision whether to allow a child to play football.  Government has no place sticking its nose in that decision,” O’Mara said. “Pop Warner and all of youth football has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for millions of American kids.  They take seriously their responsibility to provide an experience that’s as safe and rewarding as possible.  Youth football has given millions of kids a foundation of achievement, discipline, dreams, friendship, fun, physical fitness and teamwork – so many of the ideals and values that make a healthy difference for young people.”

Update: watch this February 13th report on WENY-TV