Bo Jackson says he would ‘smack’ his kids if they wanted to play football
Bo Jackson is one of very few people who have played both football and baseball at the professional level, and he is widely considered to be one of the greatest athletes to ever live. But if he could go back and relive his remarkable career, would he do anything differently?
According to Jackson, he probably would just stick to baseball.
While Jackson says he is lucky enough to not have many long-term effects of head injuries, he understands how serious they can be. And because of that, he would advise young children to not play football.
“If I had young kids, to be honest, and if they came and said, ‘Dad, I want to play football,’ I’d smack them in the mouth,” Jackson said in an interview with Dominic Bonvissuto of The MMQB this week. “No. No.”
Had he known during his playing days what science has discovered about concussions and head trauma in recent years, Jackson says he would have only played pro baseball.
“Because if I’d have known back then what I know now, to be honest with you, I probably would have taken a different path,” he said. “I probably just would have played baseball.”
He may not feel any long-term effects of concussions, but Jackson has experienced at least one.
“Something in my brain was telling me to get up, and don’t let these guys see that you are hurt,” he said of one time he suffered a head injury. “I got up and walked to the sideline. I got through the crowd and went to sit on the bench, and right when my butt hit the bench, someone grabbed my arm and said, ‘You’re on the wrong side, motherf—er.’ So yes, I got my bell rung and it’s true. When you get your bell rung, you don’t hear nothing but a [bing]. You got 80,000 people screaming, but all you hear is [beeeeeeeeep].”
Jackson is not alone. Some of the NFL’s most notable legends — and biggest tough guys — have said they would not want their children playing football. Some believe that will be a major problem for the sport going forward.