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POLL: Do You Want Your Kids to Play Football?

After the New Orleans Saints bounty program and Junior Seau's suicide captured headlines, former NFL players say they wouldn't encourage their kids to play. What do you think?

The offseason headlines for our nation's most popular sports league, the NFL, have been taken over by the violent nature of football.

Junior Seau's suicide has raised questions about a healthy life—both mentally and physically—after football, and the New Orleans Saints' bounty programs in which players were paid to hurt the opposition have highlighted the dangerous aspects of the game.

With this in mind, would you let you kid play football? Vote in the poll below. 

It's been a question asked in the media frequently this offseason. ESPN football writer Ashley Fox says the answer for her son is a definite "No." 

"There is no way I'm letting my beloved boy play the game at any level," Fox wrote in a recent ESPN column. "Football is not an option for him. It is too violent, and the ramifications of head injuries suffered while playing at all levels are too great."

Fox goes on to cite the positive aspects of football, but also quotes former greats Troy Aikman and Kurt Warner, who said they wouldn't encourage their children to play the sport because of its violence. 

Last year, Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed  before returning to practice or playing in future games.

“Our goal is the safety of our student-athletes," said Ted Robbins, athletic director at , in a previous article. If we can help to prevent some concussions through improved parent, coach and athletic education, and improved diagnostic tools, then we are working toward achieving that goal.”

Parents have debated this topic on Patch before, but with the recent events in the NFL, will it impact the decisions you make at a local level?

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NANCY GRACE May 11, 2012 at 11:54 AM
I agree, baseball,soccer,basketball even hockey are much safer sports.
Tony P May 11, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I believe there is a chance of injury involved in any sport that requires physical activity. I don't agree that the sports listed above are any "safer" I have been involved with many sports and extra-curricular activities. I don't believe that any parent should encourage their kid or force them to play a sport. I am heavily involved at the high school level. The most important aspect of keeping kids safe is teaching them the correct way to perform, in every sport. The main thing I see is a kid who injures easily and we find out later that he not only plays High School sports but is involved in a year round club sport. There is no recovery and rest time. Speaking from the football aspect, we had 1 injury that was not a severe injury, along with bumps and bruises which exist in every sport or activity, including walking. I will not force my kids to play any sport or activity that they don't want to participate in. I will ask them if they would like to and then sign them up. The important thing is that they need to be involved in some sort of school activity. This builds friendships, teamwork, work ethic, and most of all, critical thinking. This will allow them to be positive contributing members of society. No sitting inside on the computer or video games. This is my first time commenting. I ask that posters do not pass off any sport as not "safe". There is a chance of being injured all the time. Please don't minimize the importance of a kid's involvement.
AC May 11, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I agree with Tony P, I will let my kids participate in the sports they choose to participate in. They need to learn the game to play it properly and have the proper recovery time (no 12 month sports, ever). My only rule is that my kids participate in a variety of sports to maintain a healthy and diverse set of activities. Looking at the list of sports with the most concussions - 1. Boys Football, 2. Girls Soccer, 3. Lacrosse, 4. Boys Soccer, 5. Wrestling, 6.Girls Basketball, 7. Softball - I can see a number of activities that my children have participated in. I appreciate the vigilance of the coaching programs, such as USA Hockey, USA Football, Illinois Lacrosse, etc. that have stressed the importance of protecting the children. Now I hope they are able to find a way to help ease the stress on the body of the children, while still maintaining the ability to show the athletes the proper way to compete, fair and hard, while still having fun.
Orland Park Resident May 11, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I played football through college. I absolutely love the sport for many, many reasons. My sixth grade son has played 5 years of football and says he is going to concentrate on baseball & basketball only for now...I couldn't be happier.
Michael Hrymak May 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM
If the Kid wants to play football he should be able to. It's a fun sport. I agree that concussions aone dangerous but they shouldn't stop one of best sports in America from being played. There's a risk of getting a concussion in everything you do.
Rebecca Wharrie May 11, 2012 at 08:43 PM
My youngest son has had two concussions; one in PE and one from a fall on his way to a concession stand. He's played football for 5 years and never had a serious injury, but his fear of getting injured has him taking a year (or more) off from both baseball and football. it's a shame that technology can't protect athletes from concussions. Sports are good for kids and have so many benefits above and beyond physical fitness.
Jim May 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I'd bet that some of these crazy Burros & Junior Griffins parents would gladly accept their kids getting permanent brain damage from concussions and non-concussive hits like Seau had for a Widgets "Blue" Super Bowl Championship patch or a lucrative prestigious position on the Freshmen "A" Team.
carole May 17, 2012 at 05:33 PM
No one wants a child to get a concussion nor injured in a car accident. If we really go by statistics none of us would ever drive or ride in a car. Jim, you do know that you can get a concussion doing other activities,or maybe you don't. Some children have gotten concussions falling out of a high chair...It sounds as if you are soooo envious of the football teams you mentioned. Are we going to beat that dead horse AGAIN?

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