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The Venita Parker interview captures her perspective on how she addressed the safety concerns of having her son play football, and the importance of football in turning her son into a well-rounded individual. Urschel is currently pursuing his PhD in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while playing in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens. Parker said the key in addressing her concerns centered on becoming knowledgeable and ensuring that her son's coaches put his safety first.
"I know sports can be dangerous, but it's the same thing as a parent, you have to do your homework," Parker says in the video. "Anything that your child becomes involved in, whether it's sports or even academically, you just keep your finger on the pulse of things to make sure that your child is getting a benefit and it does not become a detriment."
The "I'm A Football Mom" initiative was launched last year by the NFF to highlight the unique perspectives of mothers around the country who believe in the benefits of having their sons and daughters play football. The initiative features a series of videos and stories that are promoted in social media and on FootballMatters.org, the NFF's digital platform for promoting the good in the game.
"The National Football Foundation makes a concerted effort to create opportunities for all the groups who influence the game and play a role in supporting our mission," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. "Whether it is coaches, players, officials, administrators, or parents, the NFF works to engage all the people who support the game. Moms represent one of the most powerful influences in a young person's development, and the 'I'm A Football Mom' initiative gives them a voice in the promotion of the game."
The Parker/Urschel video marks the second video in the series, and both have been produced by Business Media Group (BMG) of Indianapolis, Ind. The initiative's first video, posted last year in October, captured the insights of Pam Martin from Indianapolis, Ind., the mother of three sons who each played college football: Josh(University of Indianapolis [Ind.]), Nick (University of Norte Dame) and Zach(University of Notre Dame). More than 20 stories have been written and posted to the FootballMatters.org site.
"Parents face a myriad of choices about the activities for their children," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "And we believe there is no better vehicle for teaching teamwork, discipline, and leadership than football. We wanted to create a stage for the mothers of the more than 1.1 million high school and 70,000 college players as a vehicle for them to share their thoughts on the lifelong lessons their children learn on the gridiron. This initiative has a lot of people excited, and we have a third video already in the works."
The "I'm A Football Mom" initiative is part of a larger campaign launched by the NFF in 2013 called Football Matters, which provides people throughout the country with a voice in highlighting the positive impact that football has had on their lives by utilizing social media platforms and the hashtag: #ImAFootballPlayer. The launch included a highly successful TV spot and testimonial, which showcased Jeff Immelt, the chairman and CEO of GE and a former offensive lineman at Dartmouth College. The commercial, which has been seen by millions of people, captures Immelt's perspective on the value of his football experiences in running one of the world's largest and most successful industrial conglomerates. Click here to watch the Immelt video.