Roger Goodell’s Draft Day Message To The Fans

To NFL Fans:
During the 2013 NFL Draft, young men will see their dreams realized as they are selected to become professional football players. And countless younger football players will be watching them. No matter what level they play, all football players should be taught the proper fundamentals and know that their safety is the top priority as they participate in the sport they love.

That is why the NFL is proud to partner with USA Football to announce the national launch of Heads Up Football, a comprehensive youth football initiative whose aim is to take the head out of the game. Your support is a vital component.

Heads Up Football was created with direction from independent football and medical experts. All coaches in a Heads Up Football league must be certified via USA Football’s nationally accredited Level 1 coaching certification course. These leagues also appoint a Player Safety Coach, who is trained by USA Football. Every coach, parent and player affiliated with a Heads Up Football league receives training on the following subjects:

  • Heads Up Tackling, which teaches tackling in a safer and more effective way. The head is always up in order to lessen the risk of head or neck injuries;
  • Concussion recognition and response in which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols are learned; and
  • Proper equipment fitting to ensure the correct fitting of a player’s helmet and shoulder pads.

Piloted in three markets in 2012, Heads Up Football will expand to more than 900 youth leagues across all 50 states in 2013. Many of these leagues will receive the guidance of Heads Up Football Ambassadors, former NFL players who will collaborate with the league’s coaches, administrators, player safety coach, parents and players to help ensure that the game is played the right way.

We want to institute a culture of safety at every level of the game, and we encourage youth coaches, players and parents to join us.

We can play a part in making the game safer. As an NFL fan, here is what you can do to make a difference. If you are the parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend or neighbor of a youth football player, tell them about Heads Up Football and encourage their coaches or guardians to visit www.USAFootball.com to sign their league up as a Heads Up Football league. If you are a youth football coach or commissioner, we invite you to join the Heads Up Football movement by clicking here.

We are committed to football that fans love and the safety the players deserve at all levels of the game. Your support is critical.

Thanks for your help, and we hope you enjoy the NFL Draft.

Sincerely,

Roger Goodell
Commissioner, National Football League

Source: NFL Media

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