|Brady's father might not let him on the football field as a child in this era. (Getty Images)|
You'd think that Tom Brady Sr., because of everything the NFL has given his son, wouldn't think twice about sending "Tommy" out onto the football field. You would be wrong.
In the wake of intense debate about the safety of football and the concern with concussions, Brady's father told Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports that he would be "very hesitant" to let "Tommy" play football ... at all.
"No, not without hesitation," Tom Brady Sr. said. "I would be very hesitant to let him play."
Brady, oddly enough, didn't play organized football until he was in high school. And that wasn't because he was a lax star or some such -- Brady, Sr. wouldn't let him.
"Tommy did not play football until he was 14, because we didn't think he was physically developed enough to play the sport," Brady Sr. told Silver. "It's the same reason I wouldn't let him throw a curveball until that age. I told him, 'If I see you throw a curve, I will pull you right off this field,' and he knew I meant it."
Brady Sr. picked up that parental plan from CBS Sports' own Randy Cross, who apparently told the elder Brady 14 was when children were developed enough
"That was 27 years ago. We know so much more now; we know that not only is the body not physically developed to play football at five, six and seven, but we know the neck and the brain aren't, either," Brady, Sr. said. "At that time, we thought it was kind of heroic to play at a young age. Now, with the flow of information coming at us, it's obvious the bodies of little people are not structured to absorb the hits."
People are gonna get their undergarments bunched up over these comments from Brady's father and say nasty things in the comments, but I'll repeat what I've said before: this isn't about what the game has "given back" to certain people. This is about the different approaches that people take to parenting. There is not right answer; if there was, there would only be one parenting book, not one million.
And here's the thing: at some point Tom Brady Junior is going to have to make this same decision. Maybe he'll let his kids play football. Maybe he won't let them play until their 14. Maybe he won't let them play at all. (Who knows -- maybe his son won't want to play football.) But it's his prerogative, not ours, to determine whether or not and to what extent his children should play this dangerous game.
Brady played this game and he's seen the highs (multiple Super Bowl victories, MVP trophies, marrying Gisele) and the lows (ACL injuries, being a sixth-round draft pick). Just because the game gave him a superior lot in life doesn't mean he's required to make his children play at a young age.
Besides, it's not like Brady Sr's decision to make Tommy wait until he was 14 to play football worked out poorly.
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