Stauber Backs Bill to Improve Student Athlete Concussion Safety

January 17, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) helped Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) introduce H.R. 5611, the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act. This legislation would direct states to establish comprehensive guidelines for schools on the treatment of youth sports concussions and help inform students on the signs, symptoms, and risks of concussions.

Specifically, H.R. 5611 would implement processes for school personnel to follow if a student is suspected of having a concussion and for students and personnel to follow for the student to be gradually reintroduced to academics and physical activity.

“As a former hockey player, I am well aware that concussions are a serious injury that can cause grave repercussions down the road if they are not properly addressed. By raising awareness on the danger of concussions and directing states to establish concussion safety guidelines for schools, we will be better equipped to protect young athletes from the potentially devastating consequences of concussions,” said Stauber. 

“Concussions are an often silent health condition that can have serious, long-term consequences and sadly with still-developing brains, younger athletes are at greater risk from sports-related concussions than college or professional athletes. These injuries can jeopardize students’ future ability to compete in sports, their academic performance, and their mental health. Together with a community of schools and medical professionals, we can make real progress toward protecting our student athletes,” said DeSaulnier.

“The National Football League is pleased to once again support the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act. Over the last decade, the league has engaged in important efforts to encourage youth to play sports and stay active, while minimizing the risk of preventable and unnecessary injuries. We believe this bill would help do that by ensuring that core concussion safety standards apply to all primary and secondary students throughout the country – regardless of grade. We encourage Congress to pass the bill. It’s a win for student athletes’ safety,” said Brendon Plack, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs of the National Football League.

“Major League Baseball supports the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act. This bill will ensure nationwide compliance with evidence-based best practices for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of head injuries in youth sports and, like the protocols in MLB, protect student athletes from returning to play until they are medically cleared to do so,” said a spokesperson for Major League Baseball.   

“U.S. Soccer commends Representatives DeSaulnier and Stauber for their leadership on this important issue. It is critically important that coaches, players, parents and referees have the information and guidance they need to improve the prevention, identification and management of head injuries, and concussions in particular, across all sports,” said George Chiampas, Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The following groups support this legislation: American Academy of Neurology (AAN), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS), National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), National Football League (NFL), National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA), National Parent Teacher Association, Pop Warner Little Scholars, USA Cheer, U.S. Soccer Federation, USA Football.