NFL Network analyst and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders downplayed the risk of concussions in youth football on Thursday, citing poor coaching by inexperienced "dads" as one of the key contributing factors.
Sanders made the comments, reported by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, as he prepared to visit the Georgia towns of Snellville and Jonesboro this weekend to promote football and cheerleading registration for his Truth Select youth sports program.
"I donât believe thatâs valid, everything they are talking about with the concussion issue," Sanders said. "Also, we have taken extra precautions because we have some of the best coaches, which means they are some of the best teachers. Our coaches will teach them how to tackle, how to block and how to conduct different drills. We are not going to line up people 50 miles apart and let them collide."
Some of the former NFL players working with Sanders' program are Keion Carpenter, Jamal Lewis and Melvin Bratton.
"I think if [players] are taught the correct and proper manner, they wonât get concussions," Sanders said. "We have coaches that are real viable coaches and not just dads. We are not just a bunch of people out there playing âDaddy Ball.â"