An Historic Moment

On Thursday, April 26, 2018, we received word that AB2108 was being pulled back by the authors Assemblymembers McCarty and Gonzalez Fletcher because they didn't have the support of the Committee to hear the bill, under the leadership of Assemblymember Kansen Chu.

A tight group of 5 men helped to orchestrate this result, with the help of many others, visible and invisible. While this California Coalition did the heavy lifting of organizing 130,000 members of the youth football community in California, the real work was done by the boots on the ground in all of the communities of California from Sacramento to Oakland to San Francisco to San Jose to Bakersfield to Los Angeles, San Diego, and every hometown in between.

As a co-founder of the California Coalition, I am deeply humbled by this outcome. Our opposition letter details the why and what of our opposition as well as recommendations on how the State of California could actually make youth football safer.

AB2108 failed. It failed for a bunch of reasons that will be dissected over time, by me for sure, and others.

Less than 24 hours after the announcement of the fate of AB2108, I have these thoughts to share.

  • When the facts don’t line up, people need to tell a story, to themselves and others.

  • In the end, football is not as dangerous as some people say. Like all things in life, you can live safely or unsafely, and how people live / choose cannot be legislated beyond a boundary, based on the prevailing facts.

  • AB2108 was intended to take away our choices based on a false narrative.

So, where do we go from here?

We now need to come together as a football community in a new way to optimize the safety of our sport across the great State of CA as well as America.

Stay tuned for best practices in the form of process, technology, and coaching culture to help everyone increase their football safety.

The Mission of Save Youth Football still holds true. We remain committed to supporting the youth of California and America so they can play the safest form of football possible.

Cheers to the Football Community in America!

Joe Rafter

Founder of

Co-Founder of the Save Youth Football California Coalition

President of the Southern Marin Football and Cheer Association