Brett Favre is a part of the old-guard NFL. In his playing days, he was the prototypical iron-man, starting at quarterback for a record 297 consecutive games.
His toughness on the field is the stuff of legends, but the Hall of Famer is doing what he can to protect the younger generation from experiencing the head trauma he experienced from his years of playing tackle football.
Favre has partnered with the “Concussion Legacy Foundation” in order to encourage parents to prevent their children from playing tackle football before the age of 14. According to the CLF, a “child’s odds of developing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) double every additional three years they play tackle football.”
“Having kids play before high school is just not worth the risk,” Favre 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.”
— Concussion Legacy Foundation (@ConcussionLF) August 17, 2021
Favre joined the crew at NBC on “Today” to discuss his partnership as well as the impacts of CTE.
“I don’t know what normal feels like,” Favre said when asked how he’s feeling. “Do I have CTE or early-onset? I really don’t know, but I can’t complain. I’m able to do and function as I please for the most part.”
“Concussions are a very, very serious thing. And we’re just scraping the service of how severe they are and what are the repercussions.”
Favre does not have sons of his own, but he does have three grandsons and he was asked what he would say to them about waiting until they’re 14 to play tackle football.
“Well, they’re 11, 7, and 4, and have not mentioned playing football at all. I am not going to mention it as well. If they choose to play, I will support them, but I am not going to encourage them in any way to play. I’m just fearful of what concussions can do. And it only takes one … It’s just too risky.”
“Concussions are going to happen. Whether it be the playground, in the car, elderly falling, sports,” Favre continued. “All sports have concussions. So, I’m not going to encourage them to play until there’s a treatment. Right now it’s all prevention and as we know, you can only do so much and concussions are going to happen.”
The discovery of CTE has had a large impact on the way the game of football has been played over the past several years. Both college football and the NFL have made major rule changes with the intention of minimizing injuries to the head.
The targeting rules in college football were implemented in 2013, with players that are flagged for the penalty being ejected from the game with an automatic 15-yard penalty. In the NFL, removing the use of the helmet when tackling has been a major focal point by the league. According to the NFL Communications website:
Contact does not have to be to an opponent’s head or neck area — lowering the head and initiating contact to an opponent’s torso, hips, and lower body, is also a foul. Violations of the rule will be easier to see and officiate when they occur in open space — as opposed to close line play — but this rule applies anywhere on the field at any time.
Favre has said that he probably had “thousands” of concussions in his playing career and that he does experience symptoms that can be attributed to the repeated blows to the head.
“I feel as though I’m lucky, to this point, but … I find that my short-term memory, someone I met six months ago, it has gotten a lot worse,” Favre said in 2018. “Simple words that would normally come out easy in a conversation, I’ll stammer.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
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