Donald Trump, while running for president and afterward, talked at rallies on a couple of occasions about how he was skeptical about efforts to combat concussions in professional football.
“Because you know, today if you hit too hard — 15 yards!,” the president said in 2017, per Business Insider. “Throw him out of the game. They had that last week, I watched for a coupled of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom! 15 yards. The referee goes on television, his wife’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game.”
A year earlier, also at a rally, the future president mocked concerns about concussions in football.
“We don’t go by these new and much softer NFL rules,” Trump said at a 2016 rally after a woman fainted at the rally but then returned, per a Fox News segment at the time. “Concussion- oh! oh! Got a little ding to the head. Oh no, you can’t play for the rest of the season. Our people are tough!”
But now, Trump appears to have had a change of heart on the football concussion issue.
“I just don’t like the reports that I see coming out having to do with football,” the president said in an interview with CBS News, scheduled to air Sunday prior to the Super Bowl, as quoted by Politico. “I mean, it’s a dangerous sport, and I think it’s really tough.”
Trump added that he would have a hard time letting his 12-year-old son, Barron, play football. Barron favors soccer, the president said, and while he’d let him play football if he wanted, he “would have a hard time” with it.
President Donald Trump called football a “dangerous” sport and said he would be uncomfortable with his youngest son, Barron, playing it. https://t.co/7LbMgm8Y8H
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) February 3, 2019
This goes along with a change in the president’s general attitude toward the NFL. Trump ripped the NFL, and its players, various times throughout the 2017 season in relation to the protests during the national anthem. At one point, Trump referred to protesting players as “sons of bitches” and said that owners should fire players who participate in such protests.
But Trump has not spoken up against the NFL during the current season, and reports this week, documented by the Inquisitr, stated that “flattery” from Commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as the resolution of an issue regarding trade negotiations with Canada, have eased tensions between the president and the NFL.
Trump has attempted on multiple occasions over the years to buy an NFL team, but has never succeeded in doing so.