A bill currently being considered on Beacon Hill could ban tackle football for elementary and middle school students in Massachusetts.

Under the bill, schools could face fines of $2,000 if students in grades seven and below are allowed to play tackle football, WGBH News reported last week.

Read more: Beacon Hill Weighs Banning Youth Tackle Football

Joining Boston Public Radio to weigh in on this topic was medical ethicist Arthur Caplan. Caplan is the Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty professor and founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, and the co-host of the "Everyday Ethics" podcast.

"If you want to save the game of football — because there are declining participation rates of high school football — you have to go in this direction," Caplan said Tuesday.

While football remains the most popular sport for American boys, participation numbers have been decreasing throughout the last 10 years as the public has been made aware of the link between tackle football and traumatic head injuries.

The risk is worse for young players, according to the Concussion Legacy Foundation. Co-founder Chris Nowinski recently told WGBH News that students who began playing tackle football before the age of 12 were "worse off long-term, with higher rates of depression, higher rates of anxiety, higher rates of memory issues than those who started at 12 or later."

To keep the game alive, it has to be made safer, Caplan said.

"In 20 years, there's not going to be too much of a fan base for football if no one is willing to play it," he said.