1989: Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Every day, we are becoming more and more aware of the inherent dangers and harm that can come from playing football. As retired football players show just what kind of long-term effects the game can have on an athlete, and more and more players decide to retire from football at younger ages than ever before due to concussion concerns, Bo Jackson says if he had to do it all over again he just might consider dropping football to focus entirely on his baseball career.

In an interview with The MMQB, Jackson was asked about his experience with concussions while he was playing for the Los Angeles Raiders. Jackson says he was fortunate to not experience those kinds of problems while he was playing, but knowing what he knows now, he admits he may have handled things differently.

“If I had young kids, to be honest, and if they came and said, Dad, I want to play football, I’d smack them in the mouth. No. No,” Jackson said. “Because if I’d have known back then what I know now, to be honest with you, I probably would have taken a different path. I probably just would have played baseball.”

Of course, saying that now is easy to say. If he were in the same situation today as he was 30 years ago, Jackson thinks it would be hard to turn down the pursuit of being a modern-day two-sport athlete. After all, money talks.

“Hindsight speaks volumes, but being a 21-year-old kid, I don’t think I would have changed a thing,” Jackson explained. “I’d be making a $100 million in one sport, $100 million in another sport. That’s just the nature of the beast. In pro sports, it doesn’t matter if it’s baseball, football, basketball, soccer — you gotta make as much as you can, as early as you can, as often as you can. NFL stands for any professional sport: Not For Long. You got to get it while you can.”

That’s a fair way of looking at the situation. However, things may have changed for a two-star athlete over the years that could have potentially limited Jackson’s chances to play both sports. Football franchises may make a push to have a clause in the contract prohibiting the athlete from playing another sport at a competitive level. For example, Jameis Winston’s contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers restricts him from playing baseball. Winston was a solid pitching prospect at Florida State, in addition to being a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.

Jackson’s comments about not playing football are just another in a growing list of former football players saying they would steer away from the game. The NFL continues to battle that image as much as it can, but statements from players like Jackson are not to be ignored.

[The MMQB]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to NBCSports.com. Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.