He doesn’t have a son, but Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw is the latest former NFL player to say he wouldn’t let his child play football. And that kind of thinking, Bradshaw says, will bring a big change to sports over the next decade.
After yukking it up a bit with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show, Bradshaw turned serious, saying that, although he was a “protected quarterback,” he had had six concussions and knows this because he was “knocked out” each time.
“There will be a time in the next decade where we will not see football as it is, I believe. I know in the state of Texas it’s the king, but I believe soccer is going to elevate itself,” Bradshaw said. “I think basketball and baseball [will as well]. Contact sports are gonna phase away. I would not want my child out there...the fear of them getting these head injuries — and they’re out there — is just too great for me. There’s too much fun to be had in athletics.”
Still, Bradshaw said he wouldn’t change his life. “Football is an awesome sport, but it’s also a violent sport and that’s why all of us love it. We know what we checked in for. At 7 years of age, that’s what I wanted to do in my life and I didn’t care that I got hurt. And the question -- would you do it again? — absolutely.”
Bradshaw also questioned the NFL’s concern for safety. “I have to be careful here because I work for Fox and NFL Network, but I don’t think they care” Bradshaw said (via Sports Business Daily). “They’re forced to care now because it’s politically correct to care. Lawsuits make you care. I think the P.R. makes you care. But personally, when I got out in 1983, do I think they cared about me? No. And you know what? I don’t expect them to. I don’t need them to worry about me. I take care of myself. But do they care? They’re forced to care right now because, P.R.-wise, it’s not very favorable to them.”