Brett Favre on CTE: ‘Having kids play before high school is just not worth the risk’

Brett Favre started 297 consecutive games during his Hall of Fame NFL playing career, but the 51-year-old former quarterback has come to value health and safety more in retirement.

Favre has a new PSA with Concussion Legacy Foundation warning about the dangers of tackle football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE, out Tuesday (Aug. 17):

The one-minute spot features a young boy sitting his parents down to talk about CTE and warning them against letting him play tackle football. The boy is wearing a green No. 4 jersey, a nod toward Favre’s 16 legendary years with the Green Bay Packers. He grows into a teenager, now rocking a No. 4 letterman’s jacket, before it is revealed to have been Favre all along.

“By the time I’m your age, I could be fighting depression, struggling to keep my thoughts straight,” Favre says. “I can become violent, even towards my own children. When I’m your age, what will matter to me is not my youth football career but that, like you, I’m a great parent, and I can provide for my family.”

The video then reverts back to the original young boy, who says, “So, please, keep me out of tackle football until I’m 14.”

“Having kids play before high school is just not worth the risk,” Favre stated for the accompanying article. “CTE is a terrible disease, and we need to do everything we can to prevent it for the next generation of football players.”

In March 2018, Favre told the Chicago Sun-Times that he estimated “probably 90 percent” of tackles he endured while playing in the league from 1991 to 2010 resulted in a concussion.

The Super Bowl champion and three-time NFL MVP opened up even more about concussions and CTE for a lengthy TODAY segment in April 2018:

In February of this year, Favre revealed that he is an investor in Prevacus, billed as a drug to “immediately” treat a concussion once it has occurred:

“(There’s) no telling how many concussions I’ve had, and what are the repercussions of that, there’s no answer,” Favre told TODAY in his most recent interview earlier Tuesday. “I wasn’t the best student, but I still can remember certain things that you would go, ‘Why would you even remember that?’ But I can’t remember someone that I played six years with in Green Bay … but the face looks familiar. Those type of issues that make me wonder.”

Megan Armstrong (@megankarmstrong) is a writer with previous work appearing in places such as Billboard, Bleacher Report, GQ and others. She’s most interested in writing about people and how they live their lives, through the framework of music, entertainment and sports.

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