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Ex-Oakland Raider, Hall of Famer ‘QB Killa’ endorses youth tackle football ban

Warren Sapp (99) announced his support for AB 734. | Craig Jones/Getty Images

The “Quarterback Killa” has come out as a surprising supporter of AB 734, a California bill that would ban tackle football for children under the age of 12.

Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp—aka the QB Killa—is quoted as one of the bill’s supporters in a Friday press release from Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, who authored the bill, alongside the likes of prominent researcher Chris Nowinski, the founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and Boston University’s CTE Center.

"I support AB 734. Thank you California for taking this big step in saving our future: the kids,” Sapp said in the release. “Let's delay the banging of heads. You've got plenty of time after you get to high school.”

Sapp, a menacing defensive tackle who totaled 96.5 career sacks, spent 13 years in the NFL. He played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1995 through 2003, winning Super Bowl XXXVIII. He spent the final four seasons of his career with the Oakland Raiders.

“Sapp isn’t the only NFL legend who has spoken out about the effects of youth tackle football,” McCarty said in the release. “John Madden, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Drew Brees, Harry Carson, Tim Brown, and Bret [sic] Favre have all said young kids shouldn’t be playing tackle football. They were on the front lines and have experienced those high-impact hits; we should be listening to them.”

A ban on tackle football for children under 12 was first proposed by McCarty in 2018; that bill was pulled before it could reach a committee hearing after it was met with resistance from parent groups and grassroots organizations.