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But this is all about perception, not results. This is about addressing the real fears of parents who are now telling their children that they won’t sign permission slips for them to play football – not as long as they keep reading about lawsuits from football players who hear voices in their heads.

Following the USA Football announcement, NBA owner Mark Cuban publicly laid out his reasons why the NFL is in trouble. You can take Cuban’s diatribe with a grain of salt, the bleating of an owner with a big mouth and a bigger ego in a rival sport.

Even so, what was first on his list of reasons why the NFL is in trouble?

“I wouldn’t want my son to play football, would you?” he wrote. “I’m sure helmet technology will improve over the next 10 years, but why risk it? There are plenty of sports to play. Plenty of ways to get exercise and if my son decided to do anything outside of sports and never pick up any ball of any kind, I’m fine with that. I can think of 1k things I would prefer him to get excited about doing…I don’t think I’m alone. If we start to see a decline of popularity at the high school and then college level because kids choose other sports, it will hurt the interest in watching the NFL.”

The league just spent $45 million hoping to change minds like those who may think like Cuban. He is right about this. He is not alone. There are parents who, after telling their kids not to take that candy, will also tell them to stay away from football.

• Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and