President Obama doesn’t have a son, but football may not have been an option for a male child of the First Lady and the President, he admits.
Although Obama isn’t dad to a son, he is a football fan, and, in a recent interview, he discussed the recent buzz about the dangers of the sport — and said that he believes change is unavoidable to protect young men.
President Obama was asked if he’d let a son play football during a sit-down with The New Republic, during which the subject of football safety and head injuries came up.
It was noted several other prominent folks expressed reservations about allowing a son to play football, and Obama indicated that he felt the same way — that while he himself loves football, it would be a matter to consider if it came down to his own child playing the brutal and sometimes deadly sport.
Speaking with the mag, Obama said of a son playing football:
“I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football. And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence.”
The President continued, predicting that football may change as the risks become more apparent:
“In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.”
After the “son” comment, Obama said also that football players in college are, to him, different than adult NFL players with the decision-making ability college ball players may not have. He explained:
“I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they’re grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies. You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That’s something that I’d like to see the NCAA think about.”
Would you, like President Obama, be wary about football if it were your son on the field?