With all of the recent discoveries about the dangers of concussions, Tom Brady’s father said that he’s not sure if he would have let his son play football if knew then what he knows now.
“No, not without hesitation,” Brady Sr. told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “I would be very hesitant to let him play.”
Brady’s father was already very cautious with his son, not allowing him to play the sport until he deemed that he was physically developed enough in the seventh grade.
“If he were 14 now, and he really wanted to play, in all likelihood I would let him,” he said. “But it would not be an easy decision, at all.”
Brady Sr. said that he still worries whenever his son takes the field with the New England Patriots.
“That never goes away. The answer is yes, I’m concerned,” he said. "[Tom] claims that he’s only been dinged once or twice, but I don’t know how forthright he’s being. He’s not gonna tell us, as his parents, anything negative that’s going on. I wouldn’t be shocked that he would hide that.”
His comments come on the heels of former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner saying on “The Dan Patrick Show” that he would prefer that his sons don’t play the sport.
“Can’t make that choice for them if they want to, but there’s no question in my mind,” he said.
Warner’s response irked former Giants receiver Amani Toomer, who said that he’d let his son play. In an appearance on NBC “SportsTalk,” Toomer stood up for the NFL and what it can offer its players.
“Everything that he’s gotten in his life has come from playing football,” Toomer said of Warner. “He works at the NFL Network right now. For him to try and trash the game, it seems to me that it’s just a little disingenuous to me.”
Professional football offers its players affluence and fame, but at what cost? Is the risk of potentially life-threatening head injuries worth the payoff?
It’s a question that parents will have to weigh as more scientific evidence pours in about the sport.
Warner later reconsidered his earlier comments on “Hill and Schlereth” on ESPN Radio.
“Yeah, I want my kids to play and I want them to be healthy and I’d love them to have a great long career whether that’s collegiate, whether that’s professional,” he said. “I’d love all that. But as a parent I can’t avoid the fact that it’s a dangerous sport, and it’s a violent sport.”