Future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner caused a bit of rancor earlier this month when he said that he would not want his kids to play football. These comments came shortly after the announcement of the penalties for the New Orleans Saints players accused in the Bounty Scandal and the tragic suicide of Junior Seau. Warner’s words rubbed a few former players the wrong way. They felt Warner was throwing dirt on the game that made him both famous and filled his pockets with more money than he had ever imagined.
Warner has an ally in Tom Brady Sr. The elder Brady shared his thoughts with Yahoo!Sports’ Mike Silver. When asked if he’d allow his son, Tom Brady to take up the game today, Brady Sr. stated the following:
“No, not without hesitation,” Tom Brady Sr. said. “I would be very hesitant to let him play.”
“Tommy did not play football until he was 14, because we didn’t think he was physically developed enough to play the sport,” Brady Sr. said of his now 34-year-old son. “It’s the same reason I wouldn’t let him throw a curveball until that age. I told him, ‘If I see you throw a curve, I will pull you right off this field,’ and he knew I meant it.
“This head thing is frightening for little kids. There’s the physical part of it and the mental part – it’s becoming very clear there are very serious long-term ramifications. I think Kurt Warner is 100 percent correct. He’s there to protect his children, and these other people who are weighing in are not addressing the issue of whether it’s safe or not for kids. All this stuff about, ‘He made his fame and fortune off of football,’ that’s true – but we didn’t know then what we know now. Apparently, they don’t take their own parenting responsibility very seriously, or they don’t value their children’s health as much as they should.”
These statements come with the knowledge of head trauma that public only recently became aware of. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) only became part of the NFL vocabulary within the last half-decade. It has been cited as a contributing factor in the suicides of multiple former players. More education on this topic would be beneficial to fans and players alike. Fans need to know exactly what these players are putting themselves through on the field and off it after their playing careers. Players need to gain an understanding of the risks they are taking and the preventative measures they can employ to help deal with CTE.