The hubster and I are still deciding if our 5y.o. should play football. (He really wants to!)
First, I posted reasons why your son should/should not play football. Then I attended the NFL Health and Safety Event and learned of Heads Up Football which is teaching new techniques designed to decrease concussions and make the game safer. Then, the President announced that if he had a son – he’d be leary about him playing football (he probably didn’t know about Heads Up Football). And now, NFL players are giving their two cents – on both sides of the fence. See what they have to say ….
- “Football’s a great game. It’s such a great game because it teaches you about life and lessons and there’s so much to be gained by participating in football. .. just to continue to have this conversation and continue to talk about it and just do whatever we can to make it safer whether it be through rule change or research.”-MATT BIRK, Baltimore Ravens center
- “Anybody that’s played [football] knows what a great game it is. What it provides for young people, what it provides for people like me is an opportunity to grow as a person. It’s challenging, it’s tough, it’s hard. It’s the type of sport that brings out the best in you, it kind of shows you who you are…I think it’s a huge part of our educational system in this country and it’s going to be around for a long time.”-JOHN HARBAUGH, Baltimore Ravens head coach
- “If he wants to play, he can play. He’s his own man. With little kids, you don’t have to really worry about them that much, but as you get older, you have to learn how to play the game a little better. I think the NFL is trying to do a great job with that right now trying to teach the little kids to understand. It’s just football. It’s going to be physical.”-ALEX BOONE, San Francisco 49ers guard
- “It’s great for young people to play, it’s been great to me, it’s been great to my boys…We’ve allowed the perception of the general media to be slanted in a view that football, somehow, is barbaric, dangerous, and out of control game, and that all other activity that people can do, kids or anyone else, is safe.” –TONY BOSELLI, former NFL offensive lineman
- “With the new technology that they have, I think it’s more catered to preventing concussions. I would want my son to play football, but it’s something that’s not in his blood….and I’m not going to push him. But I think for all the kids out there who play, it’s a drive to make the game a safer game. With all the technology that we have ….why can’t we make better equipment? It’s coming. The game is going to be safe. – MICHAEL VICK, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback
- “I will not go through my life scared and I don’t want my children to go through life scared. I started playing football when I was eight years old and I would never not want to give that opportunity to my children.” –LA VAR ARRINGTON, former NFL linebacker
- “The game is safer than it has ever been because we’re being proactive with head trauma.”–MERRILL HOGE, former NFL fullback
Ultimately, of course, the decision is ours as parents. But if we want a safer game, I think we’ll have to be the ones to advocate for it starting in our own backyard.
- Ravens’ Ed Reed agrees with president’s concerns (sunherald.com)
- You: President Obama Discusses Brain Injuries in Football (bleacherreport.com)
- Cutler’s fiancee wants son to avoid football (espn.go.com)