Jets LB Bart Scott doesn't want son to play football because of injury risks

Concussions are a concern for Scott. (US PRESSWIRE)
Earlier this spring, former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner unwittingly found himself the target of criticism after what seemed like reasonable comments about the safety of his children. Specifically, Warner said that he would have concerns about letting his kids play football in light of the injury risks, especially head injuries.

Former Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer fired back, reminding Warner that "Everything that he’s gotten in his life has come from playing football. He works at the NFL Network right now. For him to try and trash the game, it seems to me that it’s just a little disingenuous to me.”

Well, Warner's not alone, and the thinking isn't just confined to well-protected franchise quarterbacks. Jets linebacker Bart Scott's also in agreement.

“I don’t want my (seven-year-old) son to play football,” Scott told the New York Daily News. “I play football so he won’t have to. With what is going on, I don’t know if it’s really worth it.”

As concussion research improves more players are coming to the same conclusion as Scott. Yes, football has provided a comfortable living for many players, but at what cost?

“I don’t want to have to deal with him getting a concussion and what it would be like later in life,” he said. “He can play baseball. I really don’t want him boxing, either, even though he wants to box. I won’t let him box. It’s not worth it. The most important thing for me is him being around and me being able to spend a long time with him and I’m sure, at the end of the day, all the things I'm able to buy him from playing football, he’d much rather have me.”

As for Scott's health, he doesn't think he's ever suffered a concussion but conceded that "I’m sure I probably have some damage." (Scott also inflicted damage, too.) The 10-year veteran plans to be fully evaluated once his career is over, and notes that one of the biggest issues players face with retirement is assimilation into the low-profile non-football world most of us inhabit.

“We have to figure out a way to help guys re-enter society,” Scott said. “It’s almost like you live in a fake world. This world doesn’t exist. Outside of this, 95 percent of the population doesn’t live like athletes or entertainers. You have to know what to do, you have to be secure in who you are. Don’t let football define you. You have to define it. It has to be something that you do, it can’t be everything you do, because when you walk away, you walk away with nothing. A lot of guys suffer with depression and they don’t know how to handle it. Football is a super macho sport and people don’t want to talk about their feelings."

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CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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