UPDATE: Falcons support concussion bill

Feb. 8, 2012-ATLANTA: Former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry addresses the House Health & Human Services Committee meeting during a hearing on House Bill 673 in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta, Ga., February 8, 2012. Also pictured is current Atlanta Falcon kicker Matt Bryant, right. HB 673, Georgia's return to play act 2012, makes players to be cleared by a medical professional before being allowed back into play in an effort to curb high school concussions. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

Feb. 8, 2012-ATLANTA: Former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry addresses the House Health & Human Services Committee meeting during a hearing on House Bill 673 in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta, Ga., February 8, 2012. Also pictured is current Atlanta Falcon kicker Matt Bryant, right. HB 673, Georgia's return to play act 2012, makes players to be cleared by a medical professional before being allowed back into play in an effort to curb high school concussions. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

Former Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry and current kicker Matt Bryant spoke to the Health and Human Services committee of the Georgia legislature in support of the “Georgia Return to Play Act of 2012” on Wednesday at the State Capitol.

“I remember coming off the field in a daze,” said Curry, who played for the Falcons from 1980-87. “I was trying to find out which sideline was my own. … My only thought was to get back on the field.”

Bryant, a father of seven kids ages 14 to 5 months, wants what is best for the youth.

“The most important thing in all of this, anything that you can do to improve the safety for the kids, to me, you find a way,” Bryant said.

Also, offensive lineman Andrew Jackson and wide receiver Kevin Cone were on hand, but did not address the committee. The bill, which was sent back to the committee for revisions, related to providing information to young athletes and their parents or guardians about concussion recognition and management.

The bill is similar to laws that have been passed in 31 states and the District of Columbia after the death of a high school player in Missouri who returned to play after suffering a concussion and later died.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NCAA executive director Mark Emmert both submitted a letter in support of the bill.

The NFL, which is being sued in several concussion-related cases, was represented at the hearing by Kenneth Edmonds, the league’s director of government relations and public policy.

“The NFL, as well as the Atlanta Falcons, strongly supports Georgia’s Return to Play Act of 2012,” Edmonds said. “We feel that it will help to prevent brain injuries and help make recreational activities safer for young athletes throughout the state.”

Rep. Billy Mitchell, D-Stone Mountain, sponsored the bill.

ORIGINAL POST BEFORE THE HEARING BELOW

Former Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry and kicker Matt Bryant are set to speak at the Georgia

Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) speaks with his son Tre Bryant, 5, before the first half. AP

Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) speaks with his son Tre Bryant, 5, before the first half. AP

 Concussion Coalition hearing in support of House Bill 673 at 3 p.m. today at the State Capitol.

Also, offensive lineman Andrew Jackson and wide receiver Kevin Cone will be on hand to support the bill which is related to providing information to young athletes and their parents or guardians about concussion recognition and management.

The bill attempts to address the problem of concussions in youth sports and provide educational training for youth coaches and directors.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NCAA executive director Mark Emmert have both submitted a letter in support of the bill.

The NFL, which is being sued in several concussion related cases, will be represented at the hearing by Kenneth Edmonds, the league’s director of government relations and public policy.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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10 comments Add your comment

Sam

February 8th, 2012
7:34 am

Ya Kevin Cone! Practice squad represent

Alan

February 8th, 2012
7:38 am

Good to see professionals invest their time and efforts into the roots of the game.

[...] Falcons to support concussion bill at State Capitol today Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) speaks with his son Tre Bryant, 5, before the first half. AP Former Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry and kicker Matt Bryant are set to speak at the Georgia Concussion Coalition hearing in support of House Bill 673 … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Roger

February 8th, 2012
8:53 am

Get’er done!

Mr. Swamp Man

February 8th, 2012
10:42 am

SAINTS supproted it before GAEUX SAINTS

JustAFan

February 8th, 2012
12:28 pm

This bill is way way over due.Coaches don’t realize they are jepordizing a kids future ability to function in society and earn a living when they continue to play kid with a head injury. To many coaches don’t pay attention to to their players symptoms and guidance from medical personnel. It is that win at all cost mentality. Hopefully this bill will force them to bench players until they are free of symtoms and cleared by an independent physician.

dre

February 8th, 2012
12:55 pm

No one sees the irony here? How appropriate in that just about all the folks at the Capitol walk around like they’ve suffered multiple concussions already.

Ivan

February 8th, 2012
1:40 pm

Dre,

I see what you did there.

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

[...] is currently considering House Bill 673, titled “Georgia’s Return to Play Act of 2012”.  Several current and former Atlanta Falcons jplayers were scheduled to testify at a House hearing on the bill set for February 8.  The bill would [...]