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Terry Bradshaw wouldn't let son play football now

  • By Brian McIntyre NFL.com
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Hall of Fame quarterback and FOX analyst Terry Bradshaw has become the latest former player to say that he would not allow his offspring to play football.

"If I had a son today, and I would say this to all our audience and our viewers out there, I would not let him play football," Bradshaw said during a Wednesday appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

"There will be a time in the next decade where we will not see football as it is, I believe," the former Pittsburgh Steelers great said. 

"I know in the state of Texas, it's king, but I believe where soccer is going to elevate itself. I think basketball and baseball (are going to become more popular) and the contact sports are going to slowly phase away. ... I would not want my child out there. ... The fear of them getting these head injuries -- and they're out there -- it's just too great for me."

Before making that statement, Bradshaw recounted all of his medical ailments, which included multiple shoulder and ankle surgeries and concussions. Bradshaw said that he had six major concussions, each of which knocked him out cold.

But he later admitted that he'd do it all again.

"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, and at seven years of age that's what I wanted to do with my life and I didn't care that I got hurt. And then the question, 'Would you do it again?' -- Absolutely."

Bradshaw's comments go a bit further than those made earlier this year by fellow Hall of Fame quarterback and FOX broadcaster Troy Aikman, who said that football might be surpassed as the No. 1 sport in 20 years. Aikman said that while he wouldn't forbid his son from playing football, he wouldn't encourage it.

Bradshaw hasn't joined any of the lawsuits against the NFL, but thinks the litigation is forcing the league to care about former players.

"I have to be careful here because I work for FOX and NFL Network, but I don't think they care," Bradshaw said, according to the SportsBusiness Daily (via The Washington Post).

"They're forced to care now because it's politically correct to care. Lawsuits make you care. I think the PR 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 PR-wise, it's not very favorable to them."

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