Kurt Warner would prefer his sons not play football

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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.

62 responses to “Kurt Warner would prefer his sons not play football

  1. “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.”

    Yeah, in this new era of parents who don’t want their children to get hurt, we might see football eventually just fizzle out.

  2. coming from a guy who cant throw a sprial with his bare hands. kids gloves.

  3. This isn’t a new school of thought. As a kid growing up, football was the only sport I was never allowed to play. Basketball, wrestling, baseball, soccer, track, etc, but never football. At least he’s willing to let them if they truly want to.

  4. Yea, but all of the parents who are lazy want a lottery-style quick payday will still let their kids play.

  5. Understand your fear as a father Kurt, but let nature take its course. If they do play support them. After all,look at what football has given you and your family. Plus they may have the genes!(see Manning boys)

  6. Okay, this is getting out of hand. Millions of people have played the game, left the game (pro or not) and been fine. Classic immediate over-reaction.

  7. All of this makes me not hate Goodell as much. He is just trying to reduce this stuff. At some point, he will realize he cannot reduce it anymore without turning it into a non-contact sport. I think last years rule changes will hopefully be the end of it unless the completely outlaw helmet hits, but that is impossible because the usually the defense going for the rip cage and the ball carrier lowers his head instead. I think they have to focus on equipment instead. Even if they make the most retarded looking helmets, but they take out most of the impact, it would be better than making everything a penalty.

  8. to me there is no difference between a person who would try to injure somebody on the field for money and the person who gives a thumbs down to someone who wishes a man who has died to rest in peace.

    They’re straight turds…

  9. I misspelled every other word. I am going to sue my high school football team for concussion damage.

  10. Heard it here first folks. MDS says this is the end of football and the NFL. Shut ‘er down.

  11. I love this game. I loved playing it as a talentless scrub in HS. For a few weeks a year, it’s still the only sport I play recreationaly. I hope to be watching NFL games with my sons for many years to come.

    I also equally hope they never, ever ask to play youth or HS football. It’s just not worth it anymore.

  12. I wish Warner never played. This dude is arguably the most overrate QB in the last 25 years!

  13. It’s definately a risk/reward situation. If you’re really talented at football, the rewards can be great, but there’s a high risk to it.

    Warner’s just being like most parents I believe, except he knows the risks of playing game. Just being a good dad, and making sure his kid’s know the risks of making a career out of football.

  14. 100% agreed. Even if they clean up the NFL, there are still TONS of high school coaches that will coach their players to “take out” star players on the other side. It happens all the time where some coaches want to win at any cost, and that means intentionally injuring other players so you can get them off the field to your advantage. That’s almost worse then a “bounty” because it’s just reckless. Not to mention the very real danger of repeated concussions. The NFL is doing a very good job trying to make the game safer, but that won’t make its way to High School or College ball for quite awhile, if ever.

    So while I love football I’d be inclined to agree with Kurt. It’s one thing to get hurt by chance in the game of football: it’s a rough game and things happen. It’s something different all together if your knees are jacked up the rest of your life because someone decided to take a cheap shot at you.

  15. Riddick Bowe once said that he hoped his son would make millions in a better way than he had to. Said he hoped his son would have “esquire” behind his name. I think Warner’s echoing similar comments.

  16. my nephew dropped playing hockey and high school football to concentrate on baseball. Colleges are sending him letters like crazy to join them. Hoping for the best.

    Tough demanding American sport. Competition drove many past players to dope up. Look what happened to the great center of the Pittsburgh Steelers… and a linebacker.. bad heart… Sad… they got their glory for those SB’s, and how many never even got their SB… (Chargers?)

  17. Warner tries to ride the fence too much. The Saints ended his career and he’s too scared to say anything about them. Yet when it comes to his kids he’s scared to let them play. Take a stand and be a man Kurt. If you’re worried about safety, there should be zero tolerance with what the Saints were doing.

  18. The game of football is about to change. Lawsuits, bounties, penalties, suspensions, and fines will demand it. I’m all for players safety, but I think the game will never be the game as we once knew it. I may be wrong but here are a few rule changes that I would not be surprized to see in the near future:
    No touching the QB, even after the throw. Just like the kickers.
    Doing away with the Kickoffs.
    Tackle zone from chest to thighs.
    No three point stance.

    Hope I’m wrong.

  19. I think there are two core points we can ascertain from this article. One is that Kurt Warner is not just in the concussion lawsuit for the money, he has actual, sincere concerns about the safety and value of playing the professional game, such that he doesn’t want his sons to follow in his footsteps, the most cliched and conventional part of fatherhood.

    Second is that he seriously overestimates his sons abilities. Granted, they’re going to be a hell of a lot more athletic than my kids; but to not want them to set foot on a football field because that will inevitably take them straight to the NFL where they will inevitably be injured by Gregg Williams Jr’s bounty system, is kind of absurd. Considering the roundabout career path that brought Kurt to the NFL, what with the Arena leagues, and the grocery stores, and whatnot, I think it’s a little bit much to say his kids are already a lock for the NFL.

  20. Formula One racing used to resemble a graveyard on wheels. It wasn’t a matter of IF you’d be in a life-threatening accident, but WHEN you’d be in a life-threatening accident. A number of all-time great drivers wound up going home in boxes.

    The great Jackie Stewart once said he’d rather see his son play golf than get behind the wheel of a F1 car, because “the fatality rate from runaway golf balls is pretty low”. As it turned out, his son eventually did get into racing (they ran a team together for a few years in the late 90s), but only after innumerable safety improvements had been made to the cars and tracks. Even then, racing still had to face the loss of heroes like Ayrton Senna and Dale Earnhardt before implementing the safety measures they have today…and in the case of Dan Wheldon, even that wasn’t enough.

    The NFL is today where F1 was in 1966. Yes, it really sucks that F1 no longer races at the full-length Nurburgring or Spa-Francorchamps circuits, but it sucks a lot less than multiple funerals a year for drivers. Investments in safety and constant rule modifications see the cars obtaining cornering speeds they only dreamed of in 1966, but the odds of a death or other permanent injury, while still present in any sport as inherently dangerous as motor racing, are far, far lower.

    NFL football is highly entertaining. It also cripples many people, in some cases instantly, in others over the long-term. In some ways, it is unavoidable – look at the Johnny Knox hit last year and ask what, if anything, could be done to avoid hits like that (not much) – but it’s to the point where the NFL must do everything it can to address this situation.

  21. If you play in the NFL you may end up like Ryan Leaf, Junior Seau or Willaim Perry, but there’s also a chance you end up like Kurt Warner, Barry Sanders or Steve Young.

  22. Don’t blame him, a lot of players suffers from some type of depression after theirs football careers and it probably has to do width them taking a lot of hits, and I believe that for years the league has been covering up things and one day the real truth will come out.

  23. My dad played football in Ohio and was first team all state in football, basketball, and track. He was recruited by Woody himself and says it is one of the proudest memories of his life. He didn’t know if you were in college you didn’t have to go to Nam so he enlisted. I didn’t say he was smart.

    He had bad hips and shoulders and said he never got injured in war, it was all from football, and he only played high school. He would have been a contributor on a National Championship team if he wasn’t so self admittedly stupid at the time. He looks back and of course would like to have had a different chance in hindsight, but he can only imagine the shape he would have left himself in after a college career and possible pro career.

    He admitted that he steered all three of us boys away from football. I think I would have loved playing, but am not sad that I got through college with minimal injuries.

    How many of you played high school/college football and what shape are you in now because of it?

  24. I’m with Warner. While I love watching football, I have too many friends that have lingering injuries from only playing highschool and some college football. So yeah, I’m going to try and steer my boys away from it (luckily my 4 year old is more of a mathlete than an athlete, so I’m not too worried about him; but I think my 2 year has some linebacker in him).

    Also, there’s just too many great sports out there, which pose a much smaller risk, where kids can get the same valuable life lessons. I played water polo in grade and high school… basically all of the aggression with not nearly as much impact. That’s where I want my boys.

  25. This won’t change the NFL one bit. The elite high school athletes who see football as a meal ticket won’t be quitting any time soon.

  26. dickroy says:
    May 3, 2012 10:53 AM
    The game of football is about to change. Lawsuits, bounties, penalties, suspensions, and fines will demand it. I’m all for players safety, but I think the game will never be the game as we once knew it. I may be wrong but here are a few rule changes that I would not be surprized to see in the near future:
    No touching the QB, even after the throw. Just like the kickers.
    Doing away with the Kickoffs.
    Tackle zone from chest to thighs.
    No three point stance.

    Hope I’m wrong.
    I hope you’re wrong too but i’m afraid you’re not, dickroy.

  27. @dbones750, I need some clarification on this comment…

    Yea, but all of the parents who are lazy want a lottery-style quick payday will still let their kids play

    What are you talking about? A lottery style Pay-day? Do you know how few people are talented enough to make it to the NFL, (or work hard enough…talent isn’t everything) and make good money. Besides that money belongs to the players not their parents. Maybe people let their kids play football because it’s a great sport. It is a sport that teaches toughness, fair play, hard work, and commitment. Many parents played football themselves and learned a lot from it including a WORK ETHIC. Allowing your kids to play football doesn’t make you a lazy parent, but making idiotic comments on-line does make you sound stupid.

  28. “but to not want them to set foot on a football field because that will inevitably take them straight to the NFL where they will inevitably be injured by Gregg Williams Jr’s bounty system”


    Actually, the way I took it (and I feel the same way) is that he’s more concerned about HS and College ball. NFL is doing a pretty good job of cleaning up the game and raising awareness of concussions etc. High Schools use 10 year old helmets that don’t do much to prevent concussions. New anti concussion models are over $400 each, which most schools and parents can’t afford. Plus high school doesn’t have media attention like pros, and so there are many more cases of teams willing to win at any cost, rather then the pros.

    Personally, the NFL isn’t as dangerous as it once was, they are cleaning up injuries that don’t have to happen, but they can’t prevent all injuries. I don’t have the same level of confidence of high school and college however. If someone gets a concussion in high school do you think they have independent neurologists pull them off the field and not let them back on until they pass tests? No, they go right back on the field and get hit in the head again.

  29. “Kurt Warner would prefer his sons not play football”

    You mean the game that took Warner from the obscurity of bagging groceries to being a multimillionaire whose opinion actually matters now …….. THAT “football”, Kurt?

  30. Expect some level of increased testing, with mandatory retirement of players whose scores decrease past a certain point. The NFL will need to do that to stay in business. And that concept will filter down to colleges and high schools – when more people start suing the schools, they will be forced to either drop the sport or do something similar.

  31. I like how he’s letting his kids decide.

    I was attracted to football in high school and broke my wrist on the third day of practice. That was that for me, because the next years I was working after school.

    After I got out of my cast I started playing guitar, and have been in music ever since.

    I love music, but if I have kids I’m definitely going to steer my kids away from pursuing a career in music. My parents tried to with me, and that was before audiences decided they didn’t want to pay for anything.

    If somebody has a passion for something they will follow it.

    At least with football measures can be taken to improve the safety of the game.

    How can we convince a world who doesn’t want to pay for music that failing to do so is degrading the overall quality of what will become available?

    It’s all relative.

  32. This is what Kurt is thinking about…

    (CNN) — His was a suicide with a macabre twist. In February, former Chicago Bears safety David Duerson shot himself in the chest, but not before leaving behind a note requesting his brain be studied for evidence of a disease striking football players.

    The plaintive note read, “Please, see that my brain is given to the NFL’s brain bank.”

    Today, scientists announced that Duerson’s brain tissue showed “moderately advanced” evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a dementia-like brain disease afflicting athletes exposed to repeated brain trauma.

  33. Honestly I have to agree with Kurt. Me and the wife starting talking about this the other day, I LOVE football but I dont want my son to play. If he chooses to do so, thats his choice and I will respect that.

    I cant believe I am even saying that because I always imagined my sons playing football. But the average life expectany is lower for NFL players, and thats truth!

    If I could pick a pro sport for my son to play(I can dream right), MLB is where it’s at. Think about it….if you can hit a baseball 1 out of 3 times on average, they will make you a millionaire, WITH a gauranteed full salary….OK I’m done dreaming now 🙂

  34. injuries in pop warner are rare. in high school they happen but not so often. in college, pretty often. in the NFL more often than not, and are often devastating.

    As players get bigger and faster while their bones and ligaments (and brains) age the potential for damage is much greater, and for those players who play well into their 20s and 30s the toll on their bodies really adds up.

  35. At a whooping 5’10” and 165lbs of beef, my dream to play football ended early as I soon realized that I would be snapped into little pieces. And, my mom wouldn’t sign the waiver…

  36. At this point, I don’t think the human body (and mind) is really truly able to stand a lot of the punishment (physically and mentally) to play football, particularly at a very high level like the NFL. I’d be interested in seeing a study of any disparity in the life expectancies of NFL players versus the population at large, or even against other sports. I mean, just look at that 1994 Chargers team and all those deaths before they were 45–some of them were accidents, but not all.

  37. Maybe we can just let the robots in Real Steel replace humans. Whatever Kurt.

  38. Warner said it perfectly. I don’t want them to play but it is their life, not mine. I feel the same way about my kids about many things besides football. People here just hate on Warner because he is a devout Christian like Tebow.

  39. phinfan says:
    May 3, 2012 11:59 AM
    Invest in USA Soccer Leagues.
    Right,,,and lipstick,skirts and vuvuzelas too I suppose?? Man up Nancy!

  40. I love football and soccer. This country would be a powerhouse if just 1/10th of the athletes playing basketball or football decided to play soccer instead.

  41. It is pretty obvious from the comments most of the people here did not hear the interview on the Dan Patrick Show but just read the references in the article.

    Warner said his 2 boys like a lot of kids want to play football and if good enough, pro football. He said knowing the violence in the game today, with athletes being ever bigger and stronger and faster, raises the risk of injuries. That is a no brainer.

    He said as a father he preferred that they would not play football but he supports his kids in whatever they want to do. He is just a parent like most everyone else who has concerns about his kids. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The discussion was also in relation to Junior Seau’s tragic death.

    I am a hockey fan and have the same concerns for the players as more and more are sidelined with head injuries and concussions.

    No matter what your sports you feel cheated when your teams players get hurt, especially with a cheap shot, and miss games.

    There is a empty coliseum in LA. For all the blood thirsty fans who don’t get enough violence in football perhaps we could renew the Roman Gladiators to play there. It seats over 90,000.
    That might finally satisfy everyone.

  42. com on Kirk all the millions of dollar’s. you stocked away. from playing football and know your son’s are to good to play

  43. It used to be okay for people to watch gladiators (the happy Romans). Then that was done away with. Then they used to bait bears in Europe, that stopped. Looks like bull fights will be outlawed in a few years. They used to box bare knuckle, then changed to gloves. Now much discussion of how bad boxing is even with gloves. So boxing will probably be outlawed next, then fighting in hockey will be forbidden, then football will go down. We can all watch ballet. Them girls are packin’!

  44. Kurt would prefer they follow his earlier footsteps… Bagger on checkout lane #5 please.

  45. I’m tired of this guy…..and it has nothing to do with his opinions….some of them I agree with some of them I don’t, but I wish I didn’t hear any of them….just shut up.

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