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NFL Lobbies for Kids to Get Off-Hours Playground Access

The National Football League and the American Heart Association are asking lawmakers to make it easier for kids to use school playgrounds, football fields and gyms after hours. It’s part of the NFL’s “Play 60” campaign, which encourages kids to be physically active for at least one hour a day.

The Heart Association says many schools are concerned about potential liability issues if a kid gets hurt playing on school grounds in the evening or on a weekend. So many schools lock down outside normal hours.

Legislation filed in Tallahassee seeks to limit the liability schools would face if an accident were to happen.Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Alan Ball came to lobby at the Capitol on Tuesday. He says many kids want to be active; they just don’t have the opportunity.

"They don’t really know why it’s locked", Ball said. "They don’t understand why they can’t go to that playground. For them, it’s ‘what is the alternative?’ and the alternative to a lot of kids is to go home and play video games."

Under the legislation, school districts would only be liable for injuries in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct. The bill has unanimously passed two House committees, but has yet to be heard in the Senate.