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Ex-Bear Becker Backs Concussion Legislation

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Former Chicago Bear Kurt Becker was in Springfield this week, testifying for legislation to promote education on concussions for teens and their parents.

The legislation, sponsored by state House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), would require school boards across the state to develop concussion education plans.

Under the proposed law, the concussion education would provide information about the nature and risk of head injuries. Also, any student athlete suspected of having suffered a concussion would be legally required to leave active play, according to a Jan. 31 release from Cross’ Web site.

The Aurora Beacon-News reports Becker, a member of the 1985-86 Super Bowl champion Bears team, didn’t know the threat of concussions when he played as a young man. Decades ago, players weren’t diagnosed with concussions until they were “knocked out and violently ill,” the newspaper reported.

Becker said while he was never knocked out on the field, he is sure he suffered concussions of varying degrees, the Aurora Beacon-News reported.

One of Becker’s former Bears teammates, Dave Duerson, donated his brain for research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition linked to athletes who have sustained repeated concussions. Duerson committed suicide last week.

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