Duerson Act would ban pre-teen tackle football in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois lawmaker is proposing a state ban on tackle football for children younger than 12 years old.

The law would be named after Dave Duerson, a defensive back on the Chicago Bears’ 1985 championship team who was found to suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Duerson shot himself in the chest at the age of 50 so that his brain could be studied for signs of CTE, the degenerative disease that has been linked to repeated head trauma.

Among those supporting the bill are Duerson’s son, Tregg, and former Bears players Otis Wilson and Mike Adamle.

State Rep. Carol Sente, a Democrat from Vernon Hills, says science shows that “the risks of playing football before turning 12 just aren’t worth it.”