"If his comments are lost on people, that's too bad. He's a football player. His son plays. He believes the game is very useful—that it's a teachable tool for youth. He also believes it should be safer. There should be better helmets. Whatever way we can assist the NFL to increase safety, we will do it. The bottom line: As the NFL takes steps, we're standing by to help," the rep told ABC News.
Dr. Oz, he said, is qualified to speak as an expert owing to "a unique trifecta: He's a physician, he's a dad, and he's a former player."
Oz is not the only high-profile figure in the media to stick up for football's manly virtues.
Rush Limbaugh, in an April broadcast, defended the game. But he also said that he feared for its future: According to Limbaugh, more and more moms, made sqeamish by all the talk of brain injuries, are refusing to let their sons play football. He said he could envision a future in which the game ceases to exist at the professional level, when too few boys are taking up the game in school to later replace retiring pro players.