LaVar Arrington will not join in with those who say football isn’t a sport fit for children.
Arrington, who played linebacker in the NFL for seven seasons and made three Pro Bowls, said during today’s Outside the Lines discussion of the hazards of youth football that the risks associated with playing football aren’t as bad as the risks associated with teaching your kids that they should be afraid of engaging in physically strenuous activities.
“To me, it’s sissification, and I think that’s the only way to put it,” Arrington said. “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 8 years old and I would never not want to give that opportunity to my children.”
Arrington says he wants his son, LaVar II, to play football, and he believes that when young children are properly supervised and playing the game correctly, they’re generally not big and strong enough to seriously injure each other in collisions.
Obviously, there are some risks associated with children playing football. There are also risks associated with children playing any other sport, not to mention riding bicycles, riding in cars or walking across the street. No parent can eliminate all risks of injuries from their children’s lives, and a parent who tried would probably wind up raising a child so risk-averse that he’d be unable to accomplish much of anything in life. There’s something to be said for teaching children not to go through life scared.