|Citing concussions, Tom Brady’s dad not sure he would let son play football||05.23.12 at 1:58 pm ET|
If he had to do it all over again, Tom Brady Sr. isn’t sure he would allow his son to play football.
In light of the growing body of research linking degenerative brain disease to the type of head trauma common in football, Brady Sr. told Yahoo Sports’ Michael Silver: “No, not without hesitation. I would be very hesitant to let him play.”
The comments come in the wake of Kurt Warner’s admission that he would prefer his sons not play football. Warner received a good deal of criticism from fans and former players, including former Steelers running back Merril Hoge and former Giants receiver Amani Toomer.
Brady Sr., who did not let his son play until he was 14 years old, defended Warner’s position.
“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.”
Pointing to the similarities in the suicides of Brady’s former teammate Junior Seau and former Bears safety Dave Duerson, who shot himself in the chest in order to allow research to be conducted on his brain, Brady Sr. says he still worries about the effects football might have on his son down the road.
“Absolutely,” Brady Sr. said. “That never goes away. The answer is yes, I’m concerned. He 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.”
Ultimately however, Brady Sr. conceded he would likely now arrive at the same decision to let his son play as he did two decades ago.
“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.”
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