Athletic Trainers, Rams Exec Rally Support for New Bill Regulating Athletic Training in California

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Supporters including an NFL Rams representative are urging California to regulate athletic training in the state, along with pushing a new bill that would do so. 

California is the only state in the U.S. that doesn't regulate who can call themselves an athletic trainer, which means many of them might not have the expertise necessary to protect student athletes, supporters of the state's proposed Assembly Bill 796 said. 

"The practice of employing untrained and unqualified athletic trainers puts our student athletes at risk," Assemblymember Akilah Weber of San Diego, who is pushing for the bill, said, as reported by KABC-TV.

The bill would require anyone who calls himself or herself an athletic trainer to register with the California Department of Consumer Affairs and have nationwide certification.

"They can recognize signs of fatigue, identify risk factors with regards to injuries and illness and intervene in emergency situations," said Nick Harvey with the California Athletic Trainers' Association.

There are 800,000 high school athletes in the state, and just 56% of schools have access to an athletic trainer. Per the California Athletic Trainers' Association, as reported by

During a news conference Tuesday, Los Angeles Rams Vice President of Sports Medicine Reggie Scott spoke in favor of the bill.

"It creates a legal framework by which we can guarantee that our athletes are receiving the best medical care possible," he said.

The issue is being pushed just months after an outpouring of support for 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who collapsed during a game against the Cincinatti Bengals last season. Terrified teammates and fans watched as emergency workers shocked him back to life using a defibrillator and performed CPR.

Officials said the quick actions of the team's athletic trainer contributed to saving his life.

Many school districts across California have certified athletic trainers, but Weber said districts in low-income communities are usually at a disadvantage.

KABC-TV reported that AB 796 passed out of an assembly committee Tuesday, but there it must still clear several hurdles to become state law. If it makes it through the legislature, it would need to be signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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