For former Atlanta Falcon Buddy Curry, safety is the most important factor in playing football. The father of seven, who played for the team from 1980-1987, testified to the Health and Human Services committee of the Georgia legislature with other players for the “Georgia Return to Play Act of 2012″ this week. The law, similar to others passed in 31 states, requires students who are suspected of sustaining a concussion or brain injury during a practice or a game to be immediately removed. It also requires school boards to evaluate the student, by a trained health care provider, and give a written clearance to the student before they can return to the game.

The law comes after a 16-year-old Missouri student died immediately after re-entering a game from a previous concussion in October 2011. The NCAA and NFL wrote letters in support of the law and Kenneth Edmonds, the league’s director of government relations and public policy was present. The NFL currently has several concussion-related suits against them. The bill was sent back to the committee for revisions and was sponsored by Rep. Billy Mitchell.

Measures like this should have been created long ago… what was the delay? Has the macho culture of athletics kept players unsafe?