Amid all the questions surrounding the long-term health impact of playing football, multiple former NFL players have brought into question whether the sport is safe.
It’s definitely a topic for discussion. With so many questions still left unanswered regarding CTE and the prevalence of head trauma surrounding football, this is an issue that’s been brought to the forefront.
Count New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees as one of those who isn’t too concerned.
“Do my boys play? Oh, yeah. They knock the crap out of each other,” Brees said, via Pro Football Talk.
Brees has three boys ranging from ages five-to-seven. As you can see above, he doesn’t seem to be too concerned about letting them “knock the crap out of each other.”
Youth football remains in the mainstream. It hasn’t yet been brought to the point where parents are forcing their children from the gridiron en mass.
In fact, an estimated 1.2 million high school boys play organized football on a yearly basis.
Looking at it from the perspective of youth football, Pop Warner has done a lot to make its leagues safer for small children (more on that here).
Turning his attention to the pro game, Brees did bring to light a rather interesting point.
“The game is still played the same,” Brees continued. “Obviously the rules have changed, so maybe that hit that a guy would go for, a safety on a receiver over the middle, he’s changing his launch point a little because he doesn’t want to get fined 25 grand or 50 grand for that hit.”
Has this made a bunch of difference? Well, statistics on concussions are too raw to draw a realistic conclusion there. Though, the NFL has also certainly taken steps to protect its players.
Any way we look at it, Brees’ comments are more of the mainstream than the two retired players we mentioned above. Current NFLers don’t seem to have much of an issue with letting their children play.
We’ve seen this stance taking by other top pro football players in the past. Brees simply adds another famous name to the list.