ALPHARETTA, Ga. (AP) — Deanna Kathumbi-Jackson feels better about letting her young sons play tackle football.
"I wanted to hear a little bit more about safety as my children are going into tackle football as opposed to flag," she said. "I didn't know what they would teach us tonight, but this has exceeded my expectations."
Kathumbi-Jackson was one of 176 mothers who attended a youth football safety clinic hosted by the Atlanta Falcons at Kings Ridge Christian School on Tuesday night.
The purpose was to educate mothers on concussion symptoms, proper tackling techniques and correct fitting of helmets and pads as the NFL seeks to keep the sport growing amid lawsuits brought by former players during the last few years.
Falcons neurologist Kaveh Khajavi, USA Football Heads Up manager Michael Haynes and USA Football master trainer Buddy Curry spoke to the women about the different nuances of playing football safely.
Brian Parker of the Taylor Hooton Foundation discussed dietary supplements and the dangers of performance enhancing drugs.
On the field, Falcons safety William Moore and former Falcons cornerback Bobby Butler were among 16 current and former players who showed moms how youngsters should lead with their shoulder pads instead of their heads when tackling.
Tuesday's event was part of USA Football's youth player safety program and one of many workshops held nationwide for its Heads Up Football initiative.