I respect both Warner's and Toomer's opinions. But even more so, I repesct my sister's opinion. She does Neurology reseearch down at NIH whe she does a lot of brain scanning, imaging, etc. And she opened my eyes to the cumulative effects of concussions.
I only played football in high school. And I thought that I never had a Concussion because I had never been "knocked out". But I was told to look at all the times I had my "bell rung", saw "stars", or spoke incoherently after taking/delivering a hit. Then I realized that I may have had more than a few Concussions, however mild they may have been. The effects of Consussions, as I have been told, accumulate over time. So that damage to your brain keeps adding up.
Knowing what I know now....I am having 2nd thoughts about my son, my only child, playing football. Now, he is only 10 months old. But still, I doubt that helmet technology will catch up by the time he can play tackle football. I see the small kids just learning to hit, and they are constantly leading with their head, spearing each other, and getting hurt. For many of us, it was just a part of growing up and learning the game. But the long-term consequences of these can be severe, and they are very real.
I can only imagine the impact this has on guys who play on through college and into the pros.
I don't have a problem with what Warner said. He gets paid to give an opinon even if that means throwing the game under the bus. He had his "parent" hat on when he gave that opinion. Not a big deal. Amani Toomer kept saying lots of kids would react to Kurt Warner's statement. I don't beleive it because Kurt Warner does not have that kind of "staying" power. Now if Ray Lewis said something like that you better believe people would stop and listen.
All of you who think Warner is wrong because of everything football did for him need to read this:
Actually, all of you who agree with Warner need to read it too.
I don't have a problem with what either of them said. Anything involving the brain and damage to it is a very scary thing. If you decide you don't want your children taking that risk, then that is a decision you must make as a parent. He has the right to say that regardless of what his current job is. Football can save lives (getting kids off the streets) or, as we are now learning, end lives as well. There isn't really a wrong or a right.
If Toomer wants to allow his kids to play football, that's fine. That's not wrong.
If Warner does not want to allow his kids to play football, that's fine too. That's not wrong either.
Did anybody just hear Merrill Hoge on SC talking about Warner's comments?
Some of his main points:
His son plays football and the only concussion he has ever got was from crashing bike. (I guess we're going to ignore that the most dangerous concussions are the very small ones that happen frequently during play and add up over time)
If you don't let your kids play football, they will play xbox and eat donuts and become obese. (Totally, there are no other sports in the world.)
He coaches youth football and his kids miss more time from practice from injuries that occur during lunch and recess, not on field injuries. (Sure.)
If anyone wants a prime example of the dangers of football to the brain they can consider Merrill Hoge 'Exhibit A'.
I'm OK with other people's decisions to play football. I just think that everyone should be well aware of the risks. Merrill's dishonest debate does not help to inform people.
One more reason not to like the guy.
And at this point not a single person in sports is ignorant of the long-term risks of concussions. If a guy CHOOSES to play in the NFL or in college, he assumes the risk. Warner, as a parent, can decide what's best for his kids; but the article you cite doesn't really concern that so much.
Now does the NFL as an employer have a moral obligation to provide for these guys after their careers are over, of course. But ultimately, people make their own choices. It's no different than the Federal Gov't dangling the carrot of free college tuition or citizenship for service members in the armed forces...risk your health, and you will be rewarded financially. Still a choice though.
I've had my bell rung plenty. Been knocked out cold in two fights. Shit happens. People develop Alzheimer without ever experiencing a knockout.
Fact is, football made a lot of these people. No one forced them to be NFL players. It is a dangerous job, just like being a fireman or a policeman. Bad things can happen in a lot of careers. Half the fishermen on the Bering Sea will be maimed or damn near broken for the rest of their lives.
If Warner doesn't want his kid to be any of those things fine, but don't be a hypocrite about it. Hell, my 30 nephew has permanent disc damage from bending over and picking up heavy shit while being a plumber.
Life is hard, period. Wish I had a couple million to sit in a chair on the NFL network and bitch about how rough it is.
While I generally feel that Kurt Warner is and always has been an intolerable Douche, I have no problem with him saying this despite the millions he made from the sport. I don't find it hypocritical, or that he is biting the hand that feeds him at all. Him and that man he is married to have every right to think like parents and considering the new research on head injuries and football it's hard to argue with the evidence.
Suddenly, it's not good enough for his kid, his kid can't play it and it's not worth the risk he took. I can understand his stance to a degree. However, what is he going to do when he tells his kid to follow his dreams and his kid's dream is to be like his father and play quarterback, or play football in general? He tells his kid that he can't play and his kid rebels, maybe, always chasing his dream anyway. It might not happen like that. The kid might actually be thankful for his father's intervention. Then again, the kid might not even want to play.
Captain is right.