My two sons played basketball and volleyball. They are big and certainly could have played football, but we did not encourage it. I played football myself in high school, and got away with only one concussion and no long-term injuries that I know of.
I do believe in competitive sports for boys and girls. We all learn self-discipline, how to win, how to lose, how to work in a team, and other life lessons extremely useful later on. I’ve always thought the most important thing I learned in sports was that I could press forward when in my mind I thought I was exhausted and couldn’t give anymore. There are other ways to learn that, outside of sports, but it made a difference for me, and for my sons.
Obviously football is not the only way to learn those things. Soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, cross country, you name it. There are plenty of ways to benefit from youthful participation in sports.