NFL and the NATA Team to Pass State Laws to Protect Youth Athletes From the Risks of Concussions

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Contact:

Jeff Miller
National Football League
202.662.5593

Ellen Satlof
National Athletic Trainers’ Association
214.637.6282 x159
 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE AND THE NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINERS’ ASSOCIATION
TEAM TO PASS STATE LAWS TO PROTECT YOUTH ATHLETES
FROM THE RISKS OF CONCUSSIONS

Washington, D.C., December 7, 2010 – The National Football League and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association today announced a joint effort to promote legislation to raise awareness and protect youth athletes from the risks of concussions. The new partnership was announced during the Youth Sports Safety Summit in the nation’s capital.

“We are pleased to team with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association on a state-based legislative effort to protect youth athletes,” said Jeff Miller, the NFL’s vice president of government relations. “We will advance a simple, but significant shared goal -- to help prevent concussions and make sports and recreational activities safer for young athletes around the country.”

The NFL and NATA have agreed to work together to pass concussion awareness and prevention laws in every state throughout the country. The league and the association will promote laws modeled on the Zackery Lystedt law in Washington State, which contains three key elements: (1) concussion education for young athletes, parents and coaches on an annual basis; (2) immediate removal of a student athlete who appears to have suffered a concussion from play or practice; and (3) mandatory clearance of that student by a health care professional who is trained in the evaluation and management of concussions before returning to play or practice.

Marjorie J. Albohm, MS, ATC, president of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association added, “We know from recent cases and studies that far too many youth athletes are either playing with undiagnosed symptoms of concussions or returning to play before fully recovering from them. That’s why our organization of trained health care professionals supports legislation in every state that will help coaches, youth athletes, their parents and school officials to recognize and respond appropriately to concussions. Doing so will help prevent injury, chronic impairment and even death.”

The NFL and NATA also have pledged to encourage and enlist the participation of other stakeholders and advocates. Organizations already supporting the adoption of such laws include USA Football, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Brain Injury Association of Washington. To date, nine states have enacted adequate concussion awareness and prevention laws including Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Virginia, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Connecticut and New Jersey.

National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) – Health Care for Life & Sport

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 32,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit www.nata.org

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