Legislative Democrats should withdraw AB 734 & let parents, not politicians, decide which sports kids can play.
SACRAMENTO – At a press conference today, Assembly Republicans joined parents, coaches and student-athletes to celebrate that the proposed ban on youth football would be vetoed if it passes the Legislature. After nationwide outrage over the proposal to outlaw this popular youth sport, speakers shared stories of how youth football benefitted athletes and called on Democrats to withdraw their bill to ban the game and focus on the real problems facing California.
“From fentanyl to crime to our crumbling infrastructure, California has much bigger issues to tackle than telling parents what sports their kids can and cannot play,” said Assemblywoman Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel). “The state does not know what’s best for each individual child – parents do, and they should continue to be the ultimate authority.”
AB 734 passed out of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Tourism on a party-line vote last week. Despite the veto threat, the bill is currently elligible to be voted on by the full Assembly.
“Youth football is safer than ever in before in California under the passage of the California Youth Football Act – AB 1 in 2019,” said Steve Famiano of Save Youth Football CA. “We lead the nation in safety the standards for youth sports and AB 1 is the model for the rest of our country when it comes to what a youth sports safety bill should look like. We are glad to be here today with legislators who also believe this. There is no need to ban youth sports and we’re glad to see that AB 734 is being stopped.”
“I’m glad to have stood with common-sense legislators today as we work together to relentlessly and continually advance the great sport of football honoring our past, improving our present, and advancing our future so more generations of student athletes, coaches, and communities can experience the intellectual, emotional, social, and physical developmental benefits of the sport,” said Ron White, president of the California Youth Football Alliance.
“Banning youth sports follows a pattern of criminalization of activities that are central to marginalized black and brown communities. This bill would disproportionately affect young people of color, especially young men,” said Prof. Erica Tyler, a parent of two youth athletes, including a football player, and a college professor with a background in human anatomy, skeletal trauma, and epidemiology. “As we joined lawmakers today at the Capitol to rally to keep youth sports, my hope is that their colleagues see the importance of stopping this legislation in its tracks.”
To watch the entire press conference, CLICK HERE.