Frontline may have been on to something

Drew Brees plays quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. He’s a probable Hall of Famer when his playing days are over.

He also is the father of three boys. Does the Saints signal-caller want his sons to follow in his footsteps, to carry on a legacy the way, say, the Manning brothers — Peyton and Eli — have done to honor their father, Archie? Not on your life.

Brees revealed his intention to keep his sons away from football immediately after Frontline broadcast its long-awaited special “League of Denial,” which aired Tuesday night on Panhandle PBS. Are the events linked? I have no way of knowing that. It’s just interesting to me that Frontline would air “League of Denial” and then one of the NFL’s brightest stars would reveal his plans for his still-young sons. It will be their decision later in life, of course, whether to suit up. For now, Drew and Brittany Brees are saying “no” to football.

If you missed the special that detailed the concussion crisis in the National Football League, here it is, on this link:

I am in no position to determine yet whether the Frontline special persuaded the Breeses to disallow their sons from donning the pads and helmets. The documentary was compelling, though, especially to those who believe professional football has become hazardous to the health of those who play it.

Players have died from complications stemming from traumatic brain injury caused by concussions suffered on the field of play. Pressure has mounted on the NFL to do more to protect players from these kinds of injuries and to help those who have suffered from them in the years since the end of their athletic careers.

Frontline has done at least one admirable deed. It has accelerated the discussion on whether professional football needs to pay more careful attention to the health of its players.

At least one of them, Drew Brees, isn’t planning to subject his young children to potentially serious injury.


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