Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/19/12

Player safety continues to be a growing issue in football, and Troy Aikman thinks it could wind up hurting the NFL if the league doesn’t proceed appropriately.

The Hall of Fame quarterback was on a forum panel in Los Angeles on Friday discussing the city’s NFL prospects when he expressed concern about concussions harming the league’s status of being the country’s No. 1 professional sport.

“The long-term viability, to me anyway, is somewhat in question as far as what this game is going to look like 20 years from now,” Aikman said, according to the LA Times.

“If (I had a son), I wouldn’t tell him he couldn’t play football. If he wanted to, I would say ‘OK, great.’ But I don’t know if I would be encouraging him to play. Whereas, with the other sports, you want your kids to be active and doing those types of things.”

That sentiment is what Aikman, who suffered 10 concussions in his career, believes is going to drive people away from football, opening the door for other sports to supplant the NFL in popularity unless the league takes a proper course of action.

“I think we’re going to look back at this point in time and say these were the missteps that the National Football League took that kept football from being the No. 1 sport,” he said.

“I believe, and this is my opinion, that at some point football is not going to be the No. 1 sport. You talk about the ebbs and flows of what’s popular and what’s not. At some point, the TV ratings are not going to be there.”

Aikman certainly voices a valid opinion. Football is always going to be a violent sport. But one can only hope standards and equipment are improved to the point where player safety doesn’t ruin the NFL’s reputation. You know, before having a team in London will.

Photo credit: Dale Zanine, US Presswire

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