NATIONAL NEWS

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he won’t sign a proposed ban on tackle football for kids under 12

Jan 17, 2024, 9:15 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he will not sign a proposed ban on tackle football for children under 12, ending advocates’ short-lived hopes of having the bill become law this year.

“I will not sign legislation that bans youth tackle football,” Newsom said in a statement late Tuesday. “I am deeply concerned about the health and safety of our young athletes, but an outright ban is not the answer.”

The proposal from Democratic Assemblymember Kevin McCarty would have have been phased in gradually through 2029. Last week, a legislative committee sent the bill to the floor of the state Assembly, clearing the way for a vote by the end of the month.

But even if the bill were to pass, Newsom’s pledge not to sign it — first reported by Politico — means there is little, if any, chance of it becoming law this year. While California lawmakers have the power to override a veto, they have not done that in more than four decades.

The proposed ban was a step too far for Newsom, who is a potential candidate for president beyond 2024. The Democratic governor, now in his second term, is known nationally for his liberal policies, including banning the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035. But he also has acted as a bulwark against the Democratic Legislature’s most progressive ideas, including vetoing a bill last year that would have decriminalized some psychedelic mushrooms and some other hallucinogens.

The proposal to ban youth tackle football gained momentum this year amid increasing concern about concussions along with the rise in popularity of flag football. The goal was to have kids play flag football until age 12, which would give athletes about three years of playing tackle football before entering high school. Advocates say that would limit children’s risk of brain damage, which studies have shown increases the longer a person plays tackle football.

But the bill prompted strong opposition from parents, coaches and kids. Many attended a public hearing in the California Capitol last week wearing their football jerseys while asking lawmakers not to pass the bill.

California has regulated youth tackle football, with Newsom signing a law that took effect in 2021 limiting teams to just two full-contact practices per week of not more than 30 minutes each during the regular season. That law also required youth tackle football coaches to have training on concussions and other head injuries.

Newsom, who has four children, pledged to work with lawmakers “to strengthen safety in youth football — while ensuring parents have the freedom to decide which sports are most appropriate for their children.”

“As part of that process, we will consult with health and sports medicine experts, coaches, parents, and community members to ensure California maintains the highest standards in the country for youth football safety,” Newsom said. “We owe that to the legions of families in California who have embraced youth sports.”

Ron White, president of the California Youth Football Alliance, thanked Newsom for pledging to not sign the bill in a video message posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We collectively look forward to working with you and the California legislative body to drive the California Youth Football Act as the most comprehensive youth tackle football safety measure in the country,” White said.

National News

FILE - Balloons are hoisted to the ceiling in the Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Conve...

Associated Press

When does a presumptive nominee become a nominee? Here’s how Donald Trump will make it official

WASHINGTON (AP) — Monday 12:01 AM Nearly 2,500 delegates are gathering in Milwaukee this week for a roll call vote to select a the Republican presidential nominee, formally ending the presidential primary. It will be a moment lacking in suspense: Former President Donald Trump has already been the presumptive nominee for months, having clinched a […]

57 minutes ago

Members of the Coalition to March on the RNC speak during a news conference ahead of the 2024 Repub...

Associated Press

GOP convention protests are on despite shooting at Trump rally

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Activists gathering in Milwaukee for the start of the Republican National Convention say the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump won’t affect their long-standing plans to demonstrate outside the convention site this week. A diverse range of organizations and activists is expected outside the downtown Fiserv Forum. The largest expected demonstration […]

58 minutes ago

FILE - Actor Clint Eastwood speaks to an empty chair while addressing delegates during the Republic...

Associated Press

Floor fights, boos and a too-long kiss. How the dramatic and the bizarre define convention history

WASHINGTON (AP) — In 1948, the Republican and Democratic parties did something unthinkable in today’s climate of ferocious political animosity: They not only held their national conventions in the same city, but shared some of the props. Both gathered in Philadelphia, largely because its Municipal Auditorium had already been fitted with the wiring needed for […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, ...

Associated Press

The RNC’s first day will still focus on the economy. Here’s what to know about Trump’s plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump goes into the Republican National Convention with bold promises about the U.S. economy, but he has sketched out notably few details about how his plans would actually work. The convention’s first day is still expected to focus on the economy even after Saturday’s shooting at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Wayne LaPierre arrives at court, Jan. 24, 2024, in New York. The second phase of the civil t...

Associated Press

Second phase of NRA civil trial over nonprofit’s spending set to open in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — The second phase of the civil trial against the National Rifle Association and its top executives is set to begin Monday in Manhattan, with New York Attorney General Letitia James seeking an independent monitor to oversee the powerful gun rights group. The Democrat also is seeking to ban Wayne LaPierre, the […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares are mixed as China reports its economy grew 4.7% in last quarter

Asian shares began the week trading mixed as China reported that its economy expanded at a slower-than-forecast 4.7% annual pace in the last quarter. Markets seemed to take in stride a shooting at a rally for former President Donald Trumpin Butler, Pennsylvania that is being investigated as an attempted assassination of the presumptive Republican nominee. […]

1 hour ago

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he won’t sign a proposed ban on tackle football for kids under 12