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Kurt Warner clarifies his comments, says he’d “love” his sons to play football


On Thursday’s Dan Patrick Show, former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner said that he doesn’t want his children to play football. “There’s no question in my mind,” Warner said regarding his preference that they don’t play.

On Thursday’s NBC SportsTalk, former NFL receiver Amani Toomer said that Kurt should keep any negative views regarding the sport to himself, given what he has gained from the sport that, in Toomer’s view, Warner is now trying to “trash.”

On Thursday’s Hill and Schlereth on ESPN Radio, Warner clarified his comments -- ultimately saying that he’d actually “love” for his kids to play football.

“I agree from my standpoint that everything I have gotten, and I love the game and I wouldn’t change a thing about my career,” Warner said in response to Toomer’s remarks. “I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. I continue to love it. I continue to watch it, and am a big fan of the game. But at the end of the day, you know, I’ve seen how my wife looks at this game when I’m out there getting hit. And it’s different when you put on a parent’s hat. And, yeah, I want my kids to play and I want them to be healthy and I’d love them to have a great long career whether that’s collegiate, whether that’s professional. I’d love all that. But as a parent I can’t avoid the fact that it’s a dangerous sport, and it’s a violent sport.

“And it’s not just football I’m talking about. Any time my kids are put in harm’s way, as a parent I say, ‘I don’t want them to do that. I don’t want them to take that chance.’ Can I protect them from anything? No. Am I gonna sit here and say, ‘You can’t do this. You can’t do that, you can’t drive in a car, you can’t do all the things that are risky in life.’ Of course not.

“But my point being is that as a parent, do you think about that? Do you think about the violence of the game when your kids play? And, yeah, my kids are 13 years old and my son has already suffered a concussion. Do I think about that? Of course I think about that. And the bottom line for me as a parent, is as much as I love the game and what it’s all about and what it’s done for me, the most important thing for me is the safety of my kids. And so that’s my point, is that I consider it. And it’s in my thought process. And when they play and when they wanna play and when they talk about playing professionally, I’m very conscious of that.

“And, you know, at the end of the day, I’d love for them to play football. If they don’t play football and never suffer an injury doing anything, I’m going to be an extremely parent as they move into the rest of their life and take care of their family and their kids. So I don’t know why I would have to keep my comments to myself. I’m speaking as a father. But I love the game of football and I’ll always love it and I’m so appreciate of what it did for me.”

That’s a great and thorough and thoughtful explanation. And I agree with him. But that’s not what he told Dan Patrick on Thursday morning.