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Justin Timberlake Says He Won’t Let His Son Play Football

And during an NFL news conference to promote his Super Bowl halftime performance, to boot.

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Singer, actor, and all-around swell guy Justin Timberlake surprised many yesterday when he admitted he will never let his son Silas play football. It was more surprising because Timberlake was actually at an NFL news conference to promote his upcoming Super Bowl halftime performance. Awkward. After cracking a joke about suiting up as Patriots wide receiver for the big game, a reporter asked the ‘Sexy Back’ singer if he would “support it if [Silas] wanted to run some routes and get in the NFL.” Timberlake quickly made it clear that he would not be letting his two-year-old play America’s most popular sport on any level, saying, “Uh, he will never play football. No, no.”

JT didn’t going into detail about his decision to ban his son from the gridiron, but it seems likely that the choice is connected to the longterm health issues related to the sport. Research has found that violent head trauma on the field has caused brain damage in former NFL players and puts youth football players at risk. Dr. Bennet Omalu, the first person to publish findings of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), went so far as to say that letting kids play contact sports is essentially a form of child abuse.

Instead of dreaming of his son’s future in the NFL, Timberlake says he and his wife, actress Jessica Biel, are more focused on doing everything they can to help Silas be the best person he can be.

“I mean, yeah, it’s kind of like that thing where my main objective is that he become a great person,” Timberlake told reporters. “And if he wants to get into the arts or sports, then yeah, I would fully support that. I think I can hopefully offer him some advice on what to do and what not to do, but right now we’re working on our manners. That’s a big deal in our house right now. It’s like, one thing at a time.”