Packers Favorites Weigh in on Football Concussions - WBAY

Packers Favorites Weigh in on Football Concussions

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Green Bay -  The NFL continues to be under scrutiny for its response to concussions. Many former players who got concussions while playing said they later developed Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

A federal judge granted preliminary approval of a landmark deal that would compensate more than 4,500 former players with concussion-related claims Monday.

While the lawsuit would compensate those players, parents of young "wanna-be" players are thinking twice before they sign their kids up to play this fall.

"I think every parent--if you're not concerned as a parent then it's hard--you're not a parent," said former Green Bay Packer Ahman Green.

Coaches at all levels said keeping kids playing the game is critical to get the most talented players in the future. 

On the field, changes are being made to keep kids safe.

"That's a top priority," said Mark Murphy, Packers President/CEO. "Making the game at all levels as safe as possible." Murphy serves on the board of Football USA, which created the Heads Up Football program in 2012. It aims to make football more safe.

Individual schools are teaching proper techniques.

"In terms of how to hit somebody and how to receive a hit," Green, who now coaches youth, said.

"There's not a single aspect of what we do on the field with our kids where safety isn't our biggest priority," said Mark Weller, Preble Sports Academy.

The WIAA, which oversees high school sports in Wisconsin, is taking action, as well.

Last month the WIAA met and limited the amount of contact permitted in practices. The new rules take effect Fall 2014.

Former NFL players said concussions can happen in a lot of sports, not just football, but are calling on the NFL to be more open about what it knows about preventing and treating concussions.

"If they let that be known that will draw more attention the sport because that lets us know as fans and as players that they're doing something proactive," Green said.
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