Kurt Warner is not ready for his children to live their dream to be just like daddy. The former MVP and Super Bowl winning QB is starting to be swayed by a lot of evidence that may prove the long-lasting dangers of the violence involved in playing football. He is considering that he may have to discourage them from wanting to play football for their own safety.
Warner, who has one of the most unusual stories of rags-to-riches in the NFL, was a highly successful QB as an NFL QB with the Rams, Giants, and Cardinals. He reached 3 Super Bowls and was the MVP of Super Bowl 34, when the Rams defeated the Titans. All his accomplishments came after playing in the Arena League and stocking groceries at a local food store. While Warner was highly successful, he also took a beating during his career. In fact, he was allegedly targeted in the Saints pay-for-injury scandal back in the 2010 playoffs. Warner was blown up on one play, that was a legal hit, but the NFL report says that the Saints had a bounty on him. Warner is being influenced by that and revelations from recent research that concussions are leading to a lot of health issues like depression and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).
Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Warner had this to say when he was asked about whether or not he would want his kids playing football with what he now knows:
“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.”
This is becoming a more common sentiment among a lot of parents. Head injuries are happening at all levels of football, including PeeWee. Again, there is a lot of studies that have been done showing a connection between them and several long-term repercussions, though nothing is 100% conclusive. The Junior Seau suicide is already re-igniting the debate on whether or not his depression is linked to his years of physical abuse playing football. The lack of fundamentals and how players choose to tackle also plays a huge role, and the NFL has been trying to take steps to keep players from launching themselves headfirst into the ball carriers. It isn’t a debate that is going to end anytime soon, but you cannot blame a parent that wants to keep their child as healthy as possible. Just watch how Seau’s mother pleaded for herself to be taken away instead of her son.