Brett Favre is urging parents not to allow their children to play tackle football until they are 14, he said in a powerful new PSA in partnership with the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
The Hall of Fame quarterback wants parents not to let their kids under 14 play tackle football to reduce the risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the progressive and fatal brain disease referred to as CTE.
“Having kids play before high school is just not worth the risk,” the three-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion said in a statement. “CTE is a terrible disease, and we need to do everything we can to prevent it for the next generation of football players.”
The former Green Bay Packers great told NBC’s “Today” that he is experiencing memory loss, though he is not sure if he has CTE.
“I don’t know what normal feels like. Do I have CTE? I really don’t know,” Favre said. “Concussions are a very, very serious thing and we’re just scraping the surface of how severe they are.”
“[There is] no telling how many concussions I’ve had, and what are the repercussions of that, there’s no answer,” Favre told “Today.”
“I wasn’t the best student, but I still can remember certain things that you would go, ‘Why would you even remember that?’” the former New York Jets quarterback asked. “But I can’t remember someone that I played six years with in Green Bay … but the face looks familiar. Those type of issues that make me wonder.”
Favre told “Today” that he hasn’t encouraged his grandsons to play football.
“If they choose to play I will support them, but I ‘m not going to encourage them in any way to play. That surprises a lot of people, but I’m just fearful of what concussions can do,” he said. “And it only takes one. Maybe I have had a thousand … It’s just too risky. I’m not going to encourage them to play until there’s a treatment.”
“The best way to avoid concussions is not to play at all, and of course that’s not going to happen,” he added.
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