By The Associated Press
The Brain Injury Alliance of Washington celebrated this weekend the passage of youth sports concussion laws in all 50 states.
The NFL and USA Football, the governing body for the sport, have played roles in helping get the Lystedt Law passed throughout the nation. Commissioner Roger Goodell accepted the organization's 2014 Leadership Award on behalf of the NFL at a gala in Seattle.
Such laws were inspired by Zack Lystedt. In 2006, Lystedt suffered a brain injury following his return to a middle school football game after sustaining a concussion. Zackery, his family and a broad range of medical, business and community partners lobbied the Washington state legislature for a law to better protect young athletes in all sports.
In 2010, Goodell sent letters to the governors of 44 states that did not have concussion laws urging them to pass something similar to the Lystedt Law. The NFL advocated for the laws until every state had one.
That has happened.
"The passage of the Lystedt Law in all 50 states is an important step for all young athletes and their parents," says Goodell, whose teenage twin daughters have played soccer and lacrosse. "The Lystedts and the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington should rightfully be proud of all that they did to make the nationwide passage a reality. We are honored to support their work to protect all young players, no matter what sport they play.
"We will continue to focus on making our game better and safer and setting the right example on health and safety in sports."
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press
Photo on cover page by Nate Gowdy