Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre has seen it all during his 20 years in the league, which gives him a unique perspective when it comes to the issues making headlines. Two of the most prominent right now are concussions and the Jonathan Martin saga.
The 44-year-old sat down for an interview with Matt Lauer of The Today Show to discuss some of the hot-button topics for a piece that will air on Monday. Today contributor Scott Stump passed along highlights from the discussion.
The three-time Most Valuable Player, who recently discussed "scary" memory problems during an interview with Sports Talk 570 in Washington, doesn't have a son, but he told Lauer he would be hesitant to let him play football if he did.
I would be real leery of him playing football. In some respects, I'm almost glad I don't have a son because of the pressures he would face. Also the physical toll that it could possibly take on him, not to mention if he never made it, he's gonna be a failure in everyone's eyes. But more the physical toll that it could take.
Including playoffs, Favre started a record 321 straight games at one point during his career, a remarkable display of both durability and toughness at a position prone to taking big hits.
He often fought through pain to stay on the field. In some circumstances, he was likely playing when in today's era of heightened concussion awareness he would have been on the sidelines.
So to hear Favre's thoughts is a definite sign of the times. Parents have to now consider the long-term physical impact playing football could have on their children.
The other issue attracting attention is the scandal involving the Miami Dolphins, Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin.
After two decades in NFL locker rooms, Favre didn't seem to believe a person of Martin's stature could be the victim of bullying, especially at the pro level.
My initial reaction was, "You gotta be kidding me." Pro football - bullying? It's the toughest sport, most violent, not to mention you're men, some older than others. So it's not like a little 12-year-old on the playground. All I'm saying is my initial reaction was a grown man that's 320 pounds is getting bullied?
Only Incognito and Martin know exactly what happened, but the NFL's locker room culture has been in the spotlight throughout the situation. It's interesting that Favre found the incident abnormal.
Favre also discussed what he's doing to slow down the aging process. Lastly, he mentioned some of the family moments that made him realize something wasn't quite right.