In this new era of football where questions about player safety and concerns about concussions are at an all-time high, many parents are facing a pertinent question over whether to let their son play football.
But if Tom Brady Sr. had to start over, he would have to think before letting his son, the same son that went on to win three Super Bowls and two MVP’s and marry a supermodel, start playing the sport in this day and age.
“I would be very hesitant to let him play,” the elder Brady told Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver.
Two decades ago, Senior was already protective when it came to his son playing football, barring “Tommy” from picking up the sport until high school because he felt his son wasn’t physically prepared:
“Tommy did not play football until he was 14, because we didn’t think he was physically developed enough to play the sport,” he said. This during a time when head injuries still received barely any more worry than a sprained ankle would. Obviously times have changed.
“This head thing is frightening for little kids,” papa Brady added. “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.”
Brady’s thoughts are similar to what many parents of young sons are thinking as they tackle this dilemma. Right now it would seem the risks outweigh the rewards, which is bad news for football. Ultimately, however, Brady thinks would likely relent to his son’s wishes, saying, “If he were 14 now, and he really wanted to play, in all likelihood I would let him. But it would not be an easy decision, at all.”
The way things have been going, if football can’t find a legitimate, sustainable way to improve player safety, many other parents won’t be so lenient.
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