Despite increasing concerns over brain safety and the long-term health of football players, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has no problem with his sons playing the sport.
“Do my boys play? Oh, yeah. They knock the crap out of each other,” Brees told Pro Football Talk.
Fewer and fewer parents are allowing their children to play football as more and more cases of CTE show up in football players. Brees doesn’t think football has changed too much from the game he played when he was his kids’ age. He did say he has noticed players are more cautious about hitting opponents.
“The game is still played the same,” Brees said. “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.”
The NFL has inflicted fines for hits to the head and insists it has implemented strict concussion protocol, but many dispute whether the league would actually try to prevent head injuries at the cost of its bottom line.
“I think in the past, when a guy would get hit and it was obvious that he was knocked out or woozy, that was a great thing, everybody was jumping up and down cheering like, ‘Yeah, you knocked him out,’” Brees said. “Now I think the mindset is different like, ‘Somebody go out there and make sure he’s OK.’”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Brees lets his kids play football. Many NFL players passionately defend the game, even as evidence mounts that it could seriously damage their brains.
Cam Newton recently told GQ he will definitely allow his son, Chosen, to play football. When a reporter mentioned brain damage, he responded, “But they don’t talk about the joy it brings! Super Bowl Sunday trumps every TV rating known to man.”
Newton suffered head injuries Thursday that now serve as the center of this whole debate.
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