The father of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says he would be reluctant to let his future Hall of Famer son take up football knowing what he does now about the long-term dangers associated with concussions from the sport.
Just weeks after the shock suicide of NFL great Junior Seau, and in a time when thousands of former players are suing the league over claims it did not do enough to prevent the long-term effects of head trauma, Tom Brady Sr. said he may well have prohibited his son from playing the game if he was faced with the same decision today.
"I would be very hesitant to let him play," Brady Sr. told Yahoo! Sports.
"Tommy did not play football until he was 14, because we didn’t think he was physically developed enough to play the sport.
"It’s the same reason I wouldn’t let him throw a curveball until that age. I told him, ‘If I see you throw a curve, I will pull you right off this field,’ and he knew I meant it.
"This head thing is frightening for little kids. There’s the physical part of it and the mental part — it’s becoming very clear there are very serious long-term ramifications."
Brady Sr. also threw his support behind another NFL great, Kurt Warner, who was recently criticized by former Giants receiver Amani Toomer and ex-Steelers running back Merril Hoge for saying he would prefer his sons not play football.
"I think Kurt Warner is 100 percent correct," Brady Sr. said. "He’s there to protect his children, and these other people who are weighing in are not addressing the issue of whether it’s safe or not for kids.
"All this stuff about, ‘He made his fame and fortune off of football,’ that’s true — but we didn’t know then what we know now. Apparently, they don’t take their own parenting responsibility very seriously, or they don’t value their children’s health as much as they should."