One Retired NFL Player on Whether or Not to Let Kids Play Football?
[Thomas Jones] My brother has two boys, and my sister has a daughter and a son, and they love sports. My three nephews love football. Its just hard, They've watched their dad and their uncle play for years— years. My nephews are eight, five, and three. So, you know, they've watched us play. They've come to the games. I walk into my brother's house and as soon as my two nephews see me the first thing they want to do is tackle me. You know, I mean, it's in their makeup. It's in their blood to be football players because me and my brother and my dad was a football player. My uncles, all of my uncles, were football players. So how do you tell a little kid, "You can't play because I'm scared of what might happen to you in the future."? It's tough. It's a really tough situation because, honestly, if it wasn't for football I wouldn't be here talking to you right now, but football taught me all those cliches you hear in life: work hard, never give up, hard work pays off. All those cliches--football taught me all those things because you can tell somebody those things but until you experience it, and things happen for you to have to actually do those things and put those cliches to work, you don't truly believe them. They're just words. And I can honestly say all those things I had to do to sustain my career and end up where I am now. As a person, as a man football molded my life, molded my personality. So from that perspective I would love to have my nephews play and my future kids play, but from the concussions, suicide, CTE, brain issue perspective, no. Because is it worth you taking your life at 40 because you scrambled your brain for so many years? No. It's not worth that. There are a lot of other ways you could be successful besides football.
Posted on BrainLine August 19, 2013.
Thomas Quinn Jones is a former American football running back who played 12 seasons in the National Football League. He is among the top 25 leading rushers in NFL history.
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