Drew Brees, the Super-Bowl-winning quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, told USA Today that he and his wife do not plan on letting their sons play football until they are much older.
Brees said, “At a certain age, I think it’s appropriate. I think you can be too young to go out there and strap on a helmet.”
His comments came after PBS aired a two-hour special Tuesday night called “League of Denial,” which delved into the history of the NFL’s treatment of head injuries. (RELATED: Is the War on Football the new War on Christmas?)
Brees said that he is all too familiar with seeing players crash and burn after getting injured. ”They’re in bad shape, and they deserve to be cared for and be helped. Hopefully we can learn a lot from that and that situation and make it better for those who come after,” he said.
Specifically with his three sons, he worries that if they played before their teens, they would be at a higher risk for injury.
“As a parent, you have to know what those risks are, and the protocols that have to take place when things happen,” Brees said. “When you get a concussion, you should be out for a certain period of time. You should be taking the baseline test. You go back and take that test again, get cleared by medical professionals before you ever play. For a kid, it should be at least a week or two, if not more.”
His sons Baylen, Bowen and Callen are currently four, two, and one, respectively.