Yesterday’s two big stories in the NFL, the suspensions of four Saints for their roles in the team’s bounty program and the suicide of Junior Seau, have one future Hall of Famer wondering if playing football is worth it.
Kurt Warner said on the Dan Patrick Show that the idea of his sons playing football “scares me,” and he thinks the risk of injuries is serious enough that his preference would be that his boys not play.
“They both have the dream, like dad, to play in the NFL,” Warner said. “That’s their goal. And when you hear things like the bounties, when you know certain things having played the game, and then obviously when you understand the size, the speed, the violence of the game, and then you couple that with situations like Junior Seau — was that a ramification of all the years playing? And things that go with that. It scares me as a dad. I just wonder — I wonder what the league’s going to be like. I love that the commissioner is doing a lot of things to try to clean up the game from that standpoint and improve player safety, which helps, in my mind, a lot. But it’s a scary thing for me.”
Asked if he would prefer that his sons not play football, Warner answered, “Yes, I would. Can’t make that choice for them if they want to, but there’s no question in my mind.”
If a man who loves football as much as Warner does would prefer his sons not play, there are probably millions of Americans thinking the same thing. This is a serious problem facing the game of football.