November 1897
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Month November 1897

ATLANTA WILL HAVE NO FOOTBALL

AC 1897-11-02 p7 Atlanta Will Have No FoobtallTHE CONSTITUTION: ATLANTA, GA., TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1897

City Council Adopts an Ordinance Outlawing the Sport.

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NO GAMES IN CITY LIMITS

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The Ordinance Applies to Small Boys and Big Men.

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WOODWARD’S PLEA FOR THE PARENTS

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He Declares Football Is Too Brutal for This Clime—Council Adopts Ordinance Quickly.

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The general council of Atlanta has stolen a march on the Georgia legislature and has won the distinction of enacting the first anti-football law. Sad news to the school boys, but true. The decree has gone forth that no more games shall be played within the limits of the capital city.

The days of football in Atlanta are gone. No longer will the boys meet on the gridiron to test their strength and skill and powers of endurance. This applies to footballists of all colors, ages and degrees: amateurs, professionals and plain footballists; all are on the same footing.

Yesterday Atlanta’s city fathers arose with almost one accord and with one swoop wiped football from the list of sports which can be indulged in the city. There was a brief struggle, weakening opposition, and then the deed was done; the ordinance was passed and now goes to the mayor for sanction before becoming effective.

Near the end of the quiet session of the council, when the members had already packed away their desk papers and began to restlessly await the motion to adjourn, Alderman Woodward quietly arose and said he had a proposition. The alderman secured the attention and he sent to Clerk Green’s desk a paper which he asked to be read, as follows:

The Anti-Football Ordinance.

“An ordinance to prevent the playing of the game of football in the city limits of Atlanta and in any territory incorporated for police purposes:

“Be it ordained by the mayor and general council of Atlanta that from and after the passage of this ordinance, it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to engage in or play the game of football within the city limits of Atlanta, or on any territory incorporated for police purposes.

“Be it further ordained that any person or persons violating this ordinance shall be subject to a fine of $100 or imprisonment for thirty days, either or both, in the discretion of the recorder.”

Mr. Woodward’s Roast of the Game

Mr. Woodward said the time had come when football should be suppressed.

“The game of football is entirely too brutal for this day of enlightenment and progress,” said Mr. Woodward. “It is a game in which the powers of endurance of the players are tested, often to the injury of the members of the teams. Players are hurt in nearly every game that is played, and many have been seriously injured or killed.

“It has only been a short time since an Atlanta boy was hurt in the game so badly he died from his injuries, and some time ago another Atlanta boy was killed while playing the game. The untimely death of young Gammon, of the University team, resulting from the injuries received in the game at Brisbine park Saturday afternoon, should be taken as a warning, and we should adopt an ordinance making it unlawful for the game to be played in this city, now while the question is before us.”

Councilman Peters Has a Question.

Councilman Peters is a young man, and he did not take kindly to the football ordinance. He used to play the game, and it occurred to him that the ordinance was a little broad in its provisions.

“Will this ordinance prevent the school boys from playing football?” asked Mr. Peters.

“It will, and that is why I offer it,” replied Mr. Woodward. “The boys are apt to be killed at any time, and it our duty to put a stop to the playing of the game, and save the parents of Atlanta anxiety.”

A motion was made to refer the ordinance to the ordinance committee, but the council members voted it down, and they then adopted the ordinance.

So, football in Atlanta is ended; long hair and other paraphernalia will now be sent to the junk pile. Football yells will no longer drive the nervous population to distraction, and peace will reign in the land.