Ex-Patriots Star Rob Gronkowski Backs California's Proposed Ban on Youth Tackle Football

Former NFL star Rob Gronkowski seems to agree with strangling his own sport in the crib by supporting the California legislature’s proposed ban on tackle football for kids.

The tackle football ban for kids 12 years and younger has passed out of the California State Committee on Sports and could be brought up for a floor vote this month, Fox Business Network reported.

But before the full state assembly can weigh in, Gronkowski has already given the bill his personal sign of approval.

Appearing on FBN’s The Claman Countdown on Wednesday, said, “I think it’s a fair proposal, and I’m for it.”

He went on to call the sport “dangerous” for kids.

“I love the game of football, and I love that these kids want to play the game of football. But to play the game of football at such a young age, I think, is a little dangerous.”

Instead, the former Patriots star said that states should be urging kids to take up flag football as youths before going on to tackle football.

Rob Gronkowski visits "FOX & Friends" at Fox News Channel Studios on September 10, 2019 in New York City.

Rob Gronkowski visits “FOX & Friends” at Fox News Channel Studios on September 10, 2019, in New York City. (Noam Galai/Getty Images)

“What I would propose and what I think should be marketed out there more is flag football. These kids should be playing flag football. You can still garner the attention of the game of football. You can still also learn the game of football. You can also develop your skills in the game of football through flag football,” he said.

“Flag football is fun to play. I loved playing flag when I was growing up. To have flag football for kids under 12, I think, is an excellent idea, and I think they shouldn’t be playing tackle football or the real game of football until about seventh grade, once their body and bias have developed,” Gronkowski exclaimed.

The ex-NFLer concluded by saying that kids should also play multiple sports and not focus on just one because it “develops your skills in every category that you need to develop your skills for whatever sport you want to play in the future.”

California’s left-wing Gov. Gavin Newsom, though, disagrees. He has already come out to say that if a tackle football ban reaches his desk, he will veto it.

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

“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 added. “We owe that to the legions of families in California who have embraced youth sports.”

Tackle Football

AP Photo/Bill Wippert

Football is already a dwindling sport in California.

In 2015, there were 103,725 young people playing tackle football, but by 2022, that number fell to 84,626, according to a California Interscholastic Federation’s participation survey.

More restrictions on the sport will likely cause it to dwindle further. Gronkowski is essentially supporting an idea that will lead to even fewer kids playing football, meaning fewer will grow up interested in football, and that will eventually impact the NFL in that fewer fans will be interested in watching football.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston


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