Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told an assembled group of high school coaches that football is under attack and those coaching the sport need to reach mothers in particular with the message that it's safe for their sons to play.
The Cardinals coach made his comments Friday at a coaching clinic for high school coaches hosted by the team. KNPX-TV in Arizona posted a video of his comments.
"We feel like this is our sport. It's being attacked, and we got to stop it at the grass roots," he said. "It's the best game that's ever been f------ invented, and we got to make sure that moms get the message, because that's who's afraid of our game right now. It's not dads, it's moms."
Arians told the coaches that its' "our job ... to make sure the game is safe, at all levels" and the primary message has to be that "the head really has no business being in the game." He said he was taught to tackle with his shoulder pads and that's "still the best way" to teach tackling.
Arians took to Twitter on Sunday to "clear up any misinterpretations" of his comments, writing in a statement that mothers are often the ones making decisions for their families, so it's important that they get the message that football is a great game.
Just to clear up any misinterpretations, this is my view about football and moms pic.twitter.com/67zGKRyXiK— Bruce Arians (@BruceArians) April 10, 2016
Friday's comments marked the second time this offseason that Arians has expressed his opinions on children playing football. Last month he told The MMQB.com in a video interview that "people that say, 'I won't let my son play [football]' are fools."
Arians' son Jake, now 38, played football and was the placekicker for the Buffalo Bills in 2001.
The NFL is embroiled in controversy over the link between football and degenerative brain diseases such as CTE. The league's top executive for health and safety, Jeff Miller, told Congress last month that there is a link between CTE and football. It was the first time an NFL executive connected the two.