A new advisory committee focused on youth-football safety convened for the first time today at the headquarters of the National Football League in New York City.
USA Football, the NFL’s official youth-football development partner, initially launched the Heads Up Football initiative last summer. The program aims to instruct youth players on proper tackling techniques, the importance of helmets that properly fit, and concussion awareness, among other things.
The new Heads Up Football Advisory Committee announced its full list of members today, and it’s not just limited to former gridiron heroes. While you’ll find some former NFL players and coaches (Brett Favre, Deion Sanders, and Bill Cowher, to name a few), there’s also a mix of football moms (Liz Raeburn), educators (Otha Thornton, the president-elect of the National Parent Teacher Association), medical experts (Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth) and comedians (Whoopi Goldberg).
The committee aims to further Heads Up Football’s goal of promoting safe playing techniques across youth-football leagues nationwide. It will also be contributing to the ongoing development of the Heads Up Football program, according to a statement from the NFL’s communications department.
Committee member Christine Golic, the wife of former NFL defensive lineman Mike Golic (and popular radio host) and the mother of two collegiate football players, said in a statement that she hopes to serve as the voice of the “foot soldiers.”
“I feel as if the experiences of the average player during the journey are very different than that of a superstar, especially when it comes to injuries,” she said. “I hope to bring some of that perspective to the committee.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.