SPORTS
11/13/2014 12:49 pm ET

LeBron James Won't Let His Kids Play Football

Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

LeBron James loves to watch football and even played it in high school. But when it comes to his kids, it's a whole different ballgame.

The basketball great told ESPN.com last Friday that he does not let his sons, LeBron Jr. and Bryce Maximus, play football because of health dangers.

"Only basketball, baseball and soccer are allowed in my house," James said.

LeBron Jr., 10, is already lighting up peewee hoops. Bryce Maximus, 7, plays soccer, among other sports. James also has a daughter, Zhuri, who was born in October.

As noted by For The Win, James joins other prominent athletes, such as Arian Foster and Kurt Warner, who have said they don't want their kids in the sport. Joe Namath, who has two adult daughters, has said he understood parents' reluctance.

Even President Obama has weighed in on the matter, telling the New Republic last year, "I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”

According to reports, participation in both Pop Warner and high school football dropped significantly following heightened concerns about the effect of head injuries.

This week the NFL revealed that nearly three in 10 former players will develop serious brain conditions at a rate "materially higher than those expected in the general population" and at younger ages, The Associated Press reported. The facts were released in conjunction with the league's proposed $765 million settlement of thousands of concussion lawsuits.

ESPN Radio host and former NFL lineman Mike Golic reacted Wednesday to James' desire to keep his kids out of football, saying:

Football, to me, especially at the youth league ... is as safe as it's ever been. There is such a premium now on playing football, on concussion awareness, on equipment fitting, on proper tackling. ... The next generation of our players are going to tackle better and have better fundamentals and technique. And hopefully ... not get hurt.

Golic did note, however, that new techniques and training wouldn't necessarily "get rid of all injuries."

H/T For The Win

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