Kurt Warner doesn’t want his kids playing football

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.

  • Trey

    If injuries are your concern so be it. It’s a brutal sport that can lead to hundreds of potential debilitating injuries.

    If your fear is depression from head injuries, come on…your kid’s chances of depression don’t increase because they step on the field.

  • http://enjoyorhire.blogspot.com/ Vez

    Then move to europe!!

  • Johnny

    Trey, even with the preliminary evidence you don’t think that there’s some evidence linking brain damage and football?

  • Oskie

    i don’t think he said that, johnny. he said that there is no way to directly link to depression.

  • http://www.treighlovesoprah.net Tony Roma

    My kid won’t play football. I don’t want him to have long term injuries. He’ll partake in beach sports, you know, like frisbee and wakeboarding. Not only will he be less likely to get hurt, he’ll probably get particpation trophies like mad.

    WOOT!!!!!!! Parent of the year!!!!!

  • cycledan

    You’re completely wrong Trey about the head injuries and the link to depression. Those with permanent brain damage from repeated blows to the head are far more likely to become clinically depressed. It is random as to what part of the brain is damaged. Different parts of the brain control different functionality. There have been quite a few ex-NFLers who have taken their own lives after a long battle with depression. Autopsies have shown significant brain damage in the few that were tested.

    In any event, whether or not you feel there is a link to depression and playing football, there certainly is a link to repeated head trauma and brain injury. I know I received a few concussions over my years of playing football and then rugby. As far as I know, there was nothing permanent but then again, an NFL player gets hit more and harder in one or two games than I did in all my years. It makes you think, especially as a parent.

  • cabbage

    The problem with professional football is the athletes on both sides of the ball are so big, so fast, and so talented that the resulting collisions are more likely to be traumatic. There are very few ex-professional football players that don’t have permanent injuries to multiple parts of their bodies. After the money, fame, and glory are gone, all most are left with is a broken down body.

  • cycledan

    First article I found
    http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0903b.shtml

    Key statement:

    According to the data, players who’d had three to four concussions had twice the risk of clinical depression as players who had no history of concussions. Players who had five or more concussions had three times the risk.

  • http://enjoyorhire.blogspot.com/ Vez

    i want ppv on cycledan and trey in the courtroom
    octagon

    or, the coctagon

  • Jaymee Stahrr

    One of the biggest concerns for me is that I’m starting to realize from all of the comments at the various sports websites shows that a lot of people have a severely unhealthy attitude about sports, particularly football. It’s a game guys. And I don’t care how much people get payed to play it, it’s not worth dying over or being permanently disabled or demented. There’s nothing “manly” or “tough” about wearing diapers at 50 years old, or not remembering where you live or where you dropped off your kids. Tennis players, baseball and basketball players, Professional golfers all make millions of dollars; but they don’t have to suffer the rest of their lives for it. Their families don’t have to suffer for it. Gain some perspective people! It’s just a game!

  • Trey

    Trey, even with the preliminary evidence you don’t think that there’s some evidence linking brain damage and football?

    Of course there is. That goes to point A.

    Simply stepping on the field though, is a different thing.

    I’d be willing to wager that most people that play football in America won’t have issues related to depression from injuries…

  • Trey

    Those with permanent brain damage from repeated blows to the head are far more likely to become clinically depressed.

    Not denying that…but other things lead to depression. Drugs for example. A lot of these guys have been taking legal and illegal performance enhancing drugs for their entire lives.

  • http://enjoyorhire.blogspot.com/ Vez

    jaymee, as long as there’s free will, people can understand the risks and play if they choose to, or parents can let their kids play after a proper education in the risks.

    as a football fan, i say, go get ‘em tigers, it’s fun to watch. the problem is, if the league is withholding the information on the risks. i have a feeling that once/if players and parents properly understand the risks, there will be plenty who still play, drawn by glory and money

    enough for us to still have our thrills

  • Trey

    Link to Steroids and Depression.

    Again. My point wasn’t that there is no correlation.

    The main being this…Your kid’s chances of becoming clincally depressed DON’T increase drastically simply because they play football.

  • http://enjoyorhire.blogspot.com/ Vez

    unless their teams suck

  • Knightro

    A study with rates of depression statistics including reference to general public rates:

    Ex-Pro Football Players Struggle With Health Problems

  • cycledan

    And another article about another ex-NFLer, Ray Easterling, who killed himself.

    Ray Easterling

  • cycledan

    I agree Trey that there are other things common to all football players that may cause depression. However other studies, including those on ex-servicemen who suffered concussions, have shown that head injuries are correlated with higher incidence of depression.

    I think safer helmets would go a long way to stopping some of the injuries. The new helmets may not look as cool but fans would get used to them.

    I love football. I played it. I watch college ball, and I watch the NFL and will continue to do so. But I do acknowledge that there is a big problem.

  • Knightro

    From the article I linked above:

    For the new study, Schwenk’s group surveyed 3,377 retired members of the NFL Players Association. Of the 1,594 who responded, almost 15 percent reported moderate to severe depression, a figure comparable to the general public, Schwenk said.

    The article goes on to say:

    Many retired players “have a rate of moderate to severe depressive symptoms similar to the general population,” said lead researcher Dr. Thomas L. Schwenk. “But they also have a huge burden of chronic pain, from injuries and the stress of a professional sports career. The two interact to cause significant sleep disturbance and other miseries.”

    Besides depression and chronic pain, those miseries can range from loss of fitness and lack of exercise, financial difficulties, a lack of social support or friendships, and abuse of prescribed medication, alcohol or other drugs, the study found.

    And further:

    In addition, ex-players with moderate-to-severe depression were almost eight times more likely to report a loss of fitness and lack of exercise, and seven times more likely to report financial difficulties.

  • Stephen

    The most disturbing thing about the brain trauma that is found with football players or any contact sport for that matter is that the small everyday hits that happen in football practices all across America is what accumulates over time. This causes minimal trauma that goes unnoticed and is compounded until there are symptoms.but sadly it is often too late by then.