Jets veteran linebacker Bart Scott has recently been vocal about not wanting his 7 year old son to play youth football. The recent death of Junior Seau and the concussion topic that has been in the news often this off-season are the driving forces for Scott’s decision.
Playing youth football is ultimately a parental choice and I respect his opinion. However, I would like to refresh Bart Scott’s memory about what playing youth football is all about, and to inform him that football is evolving in this open letter to him.
When you spoke about your 7 year son, you were quoted as saying- “I don’t want to have to deal with him getting a concussion and what it would be like later in life…Think about guys in college or Division III, what’s their reward?”
Sure Bart, I can answer that question for you. Concussion awareness has now got the attention of lawmakers and change is in the works. The voluntary child safety standards for helmet safety will soon be a thing of the past. Prominent reporters, such as Stone Phillips, have put a great amount of attention on the topic and for that we’re thankful. Football safety is evolving. And oh about those college kids playing football that you were quoted on, well they get to play the game they love while receiving an education for free (or close to free). An athletic fraternity is formed with these kids that will potentially last a lifetime.
You see Bart, your kid will learn discipline, resilience and self confidence. Character building comes from the sport; youth football teaches children many things. It’s training for life.
Let us also remember there is a distinct difference between hits in the NFL and in youth football. Concussions in youth football very seldom occur. As long as coaches teach proper tackling form, and stress keeping the head up (see what you hit) all will be ok.
I do hope you reconsider.
Thanks and good luck,
Youth Football Online.