Obama would not let his son play football
January 19th, 2014
03:20 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama would not let his son play football

Washington (CNN) - As the Patriots, Broncos, Seahawks and 49ers prepare to battle for two spots in the Super Bowl, President Barack Obama says if he had a son, he wouldn’t let him play pro football.

With an ever-growing amount of evidence linking the brutal sport with serious head and brain trauma, the President, who has two daughters, told New Yorker editor David Remnick he would bar his son from playing the sport.


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"I would not let my son play pro football," Obama reportedly said.

In the wide-ranging interview, covering a range of subjects about his presidency - from the controversy over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of metadata from American citizens, to the potential legalization of marijuana - Obama said the athletes who play pro football know the risk of injury is part of the bargain. But it's a risk he would not take with his son's future.

"There's a little bit of caveat emptor," Obama told Remnick. "These guys, they know what they're doing. They know what they're buying into. It is no longer a secret. It's sort of the feeling I have about smokers, you know?" he added.

Obama is an avid sports fan and self-professed "SportsCenter" addict who roots for the Chicago Bears. But he said football has entered the same "realm" as boxing, another sport plagued by seeing its stars suffer through the afterlife of their careers beset by crippling injuries related to the punishment they took in the ring.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Kentcansell

    Play Rugby!

    January 19, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  2. caralee2010

    He wouldn't let his soon play PRO ball? Because he would still make all the decisions for his adult son? But, he would no doubt let him smoke pot as much as he wanted because that would not hurt his brain at all. Wow.

    January 19, 2014 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  3. Jimmy the Rib

    The President and his all girl family need not worry. He has no son.

    January 19, 2014 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  4. Name Jeff

    Horrible President.....worst ever.

    January 19, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  5. ankenyman

    The kid would be at least 22 years old, how could Obama force his adult son to refrain from playing pro football? Once again, Obama makes a nonsensical statement.

    January 19, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  6. JL

    uuuagh. Obama throws like he leads. Like a community organizer, junior senator...girl.

    January 19, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  7. Awakened

    Football is a barbaric sport. It makes no sense that schools and universities allow it, support it and raise funds from it. How ironic that is: institutions that value intellect support hurting the brain...weird! Pretty soon schools will not be able to afford the litigation that will arise from the victims and it will then be a financial decision (vs emotional one) to eliminate the barbaric practice of football our society presently supports .

    January 19, 2014 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Hanrahan

    So Obama wouldn't allow his son to play football, but he would allow him to smoke pot? Can't people see where he's trying to take this country?

    January 19, 2014 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. Terae

    And this is why you have only had girls...thankgod!!!!

    January 19, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. d

    "They know what they're buying into. It is no longer a secret. It's sort of the feeling I have about smokers, you know?"

    So he will do it but he doesn't want his son doing it? Seems like he treats his family the same way he treats the countrymen he governs.

    Hypocrite.

    January 19, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. cam lee

    A photo-op of B O tossing a football after saying he wouldn't "LET" his imaginary son play the sport is similar to the photo-op of B O "skeet shooting" a couple of years back and saying the country needs stricter gun laws.

    January 19, 2014 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. Doug

    umm.. once you are old enough to play pro football, aren't you old enough to make your own decisions? I'm 46, do I need to ask my daddy if it's ok if I go bungee jump?

    January 19, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. Subnx

    The egomaniac thinks he can control everything. Good luck "barring" a talented son from playing in the NFL. It would be like me from "barring" my son from becoming a Democrat or Republican. And it is possible to go to the NFL without prior football experience. Rare, but possible.

    January 19, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  14. Mscomments

    If ob dont let his son play with nfl dat cool but if he do let him .

    January 19, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  15. dapper1

    Obama is just stating his opinion. I don't have a son either but if I did he would not be playing football.

    January 19, 2014 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  16. justme

    Its a little difficult to play professional football when one is incarcerated.

    January 19, 2014 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  17. roll tide

    now that is definently not american!

    January 19, 2014 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. Sam

    Football DOES have a high injury rate. If you play HS football, you stand a 25% chance of an emergency room trip for things like concussions, broken bones...hell, there have been a couple of fatalities in recent months.

    He'd probably be right to not let a son play football.

    Now if he wants a safe sport...fencing....injury rate for HS fencers is 0.09% - typically muscle pulls, strains/sprains, and some bruising. Worst injury I've ever gotten was a bruise from a hart hit. Hell...I've been injured more doing armory repairs (slipped screwdrivers, small burns from my soldering iron, etc)

    January 19, 2014 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  19. LB

    Of course he wouldn't: football is too American.

    January 19, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  20. marcia

    Oh, And I agree as a mother of a son who has played Little League for years and now plays for his Middle School football team that yes we do worry, but if your son is an athlete who is truly good at sports and has it in his heart to play I would be selfish not to let him. We have many, many amazingly unforgettable memories of football/basketball games to go along with the trophies.

    January 19, 2014 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. CW Williams

    He has no son, so his opinion has no merit.

    January 19, 2014 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  22. Trisha

    You must be pretty arrogant to think your son would automatically play NFL football.

    January 19, 2014 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  23. LInan516

    Since Obama isn't as strongly against smoking marijuana as he is against playing football, his non-existent son probably wouldn't have been much of a candidate for the team anyway.

    January 19, 2014 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  24. Kelly

    I will not allow my son to play football. My father wasn't allowed by my grandmother to play football in the 70's. Not seeing why Obama saying he would not allow it either is a big story... go report some real news.

    January 19, 2014 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  25. FubarObama

    Sherman from Seattle could have been his son. We are very lucky that a male will not carry on his name

    January 19, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
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