LeBron James was one of the best football players in Ohio in high school.
He was an all-state wide receiver as a junior in 2001. Urban Meyer offered him a scholarship when he was an assistant at Notre Dame and later told the Los Angeles Times that LeBron had the potential to be a first-round NFL draft pick. He only quit football when he broke his wrist before his senior year. In 2010 he told the New York Times that football was his first love.
Even in the 13 years since LeBron made all-state, the climate around football has changed. A recent New York Times magazine story compared it to tobacco, and there’s a debate among parents about whether football is too dangerous for kids.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports that LeBron will not let his two sons, who are 10- and seven-years old, play the sport:
I was surprised Friday when LeBron told me he doesn’t let his sons play football. Only basketball, baseball & soccer in his house.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 10, 2014
The James’ children:
Participation in youth football is down from where it was six years ago. Some high profile sports figures — like Brett Favre and Mark Cuban — have said they wouldn’t let their kids play football because of concern over long-term brain injuries.
Despite this, the NFL has remained the country’s most popular professional league. Roger Goodell wants to grow league revenues from $US10 billion to $US25 billion by 2027. LeBron himself is a huge Cowboys fan:
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