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'Save Youth Football Rally' touches down in Massachusetts

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  • By NFL.com
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Backed by Patriots linebacking great Andre Tippett, the executive director of community affairs for the New England Patriots, and led by the Massachusetts Football Alliance, a "Save Youth Football Rally" took place on Tuesday at the Massachusetts State House.

The rally was organized to demonstrate support for youth tackle football in Massachusetts while also opposing proposed legislation to ban youth football for area children from the seventh grade and under.

"As a lifelong participant and fan of the game of football, I've seen firsthand how the values of character, leadership, discipline, resilience and teamwork can play an immeasurable role in the development of young boys and girls that participate in youth tackle football," Tippett, an 11-season NFL veteran with the Patriots who went to five Pro Bowls, said in a statement. "One of the greatest football joys of my life came in the form of having the opportunity to coach my son in the Sharon, Mass. Pop Warner program and pass on to him the values that the game instilled in me as a youth football player in Newark, N.J. I stand behind the MA Youth Football Alliance and their Save Youth Football Rally here today at the Massachusetts State House to show my support for youth tackle football and the many great traits it impresses upon its participants at an early age."

The Massachusetts Football Alliance, which is made up of youth tackle football organizations, leagues and teams throughout the state, spearheaded the rally.

"Football is safer today than it's ever been because of greater awareness and important new rules introduced to the sport," USA Football, the national governing body, said in a statement, per NBC Boston. "This means that no youth coach should walk on a field without being certified and multiple options and entry points to play football are available to Bay State families."

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