Aikman Says He Wouldn’t Encourage a Son to Play

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Football is still the United States' most popular sport, and it isn't even close, but that doesn't mean it's going without any concern or criticism due to obvious safety concerns.

In fact, even some of the game's greats have come out and said they wouldn't encourage anyone to play football, and that list now includes former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman and former Cowboys receiver and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.

“I don’t have a 10-year-old son,” Aikman told Sports Illustrated's Peter King. “If I did, I would not tell him he could not play football. But I don’t think I would encourage him to play football."

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Aikman, who suffered two severe concussions in his playing career, including one just prior to a Super Bowl win and another that led to his retirement, said the aspect of head injuries brings in a whole new factor aside from the bumps and bruises NFL players live with.

“When I was playing and for those generations who played before me, the thought was, ‘Okay, you are playing a game that you love, you are compensated well for it, and when you get out, you may have a slight limp or some fingers that don’t bend properly,’" Aikman said. "With head injuries, that is a whole different animal."

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