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. notso

    so he has another son now? wish he would get a clue.

    January 19, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    don in albuquerque – 'firing synapses'. I have not heard that for 50 years, when I was young. Thanks for the laugh.

    January 19, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. badva

    Uh, Obama....he would be over 18 and can make his own choices. I know you love to control every man's decisions, like a communist would, but you can't....yet.

    January 19, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. JennySue

    As with the rest of us, Obama seems to think he can control what adults do. Dear mister president, if your son was talented enough to play pro football and he wanted to, there is nothing you could do to stop him.

    January 19, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Fish

    How many parents can attest to allowing their kids to do anything??? The President may need an education on this one, our kids get pregnant do drugs, play sports gamble etc... all without our knowledge or consent!!! This is 2014 Ossie and Harriett are dead as is Ricky!!!

    January 19, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    No-Duh half of the games are on FOX

    January 19, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Craig

    Over one million high schools students play football every year. Perhaps 40 million adult men played football in high school, although President Obama was not one of them. I think the hysteria about brain injuries is getting a little ahead of itself. Is it real? Of course, with tragic stories of a few suicides of former NFL players tied to CTE. But how widespread? It does not seem that with 40 million adult men having played the game that there is an avalanche of evidence that football is as hazardous as car crashes. And no one seems in a hurry to outlaw driving. If Obama's son was a quarterback making millions, would he force his son to quit? A wide receiver? It think the issue is far more nuanced than to take a one-size-fits-all position.

    January 19, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. rl

    I would not let my sons play High School either. I am glad that neither one of them wanted to.

    January 19, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Drew

    This is Obama's slick way of taking your guns, everyone! If you mix up the letters in his statement, he calls for repealing the 2nd Amendment. Ok, not really, but this is TOTALLY how Fox News will build a story on this one.

    January 19, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Ross

    He first said this over a year ago, this is not news!

    January 19, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Would agree with Obama.

    January 19, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Josh

    If he had a son, he probably wouldn't make it to the pros. Think about it.

    January 19, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Edston

    Hopefully he'll let him smoke marijuana; that's less dangerous, and he supports legalized marijuana.

    January 19, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Scott

    If Obama had a son he wouldn't let him get Obamacare.

    January 19, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Name. Jon

    Don't worry prez. Ur daughters won't either

    January 19, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    That is a good decision; I would say the same about my son if I were to have one. Other sports I'd maybe say yes on even though they can be risky as well such as soccer, but the frequency of impact to the head is just too high in football. Baseball seems okay, track, swimming, surfing (low-moderate risk), weight lifting (with a trainer), yoga/pilates, dancing, bicycling, basketball, climbing, cardio in general, tennis, just to name a few.

    January 19, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. davecu

    Not very surprising!
    Football involves teamwork and trust!

    January 19, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. praline

    This is a prime example why people have no faith in this president ... he is a numbskull. If he had a son (which we are all pretty tired of hearing...) the son would be a LEGAL adult if he were going into pro football.

    January 19, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. J R Brown

    So...he wouldn't let his grown son make his own decision but would make his decisions for him?
    No surprise really...considering his attitudes toward Americans in general.

    January 19, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Jay

    If Obama's son got to the point where he was offered a pro football contract I highly doubt Barack would have any say in the matter.

    January 19, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Concerned

    I wouldnt let Obama run this country but he does it anyway...

    January 19, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. michele

    whadyamean, "let"? How's he going to enforce that? Threaten to sic an IRS audit on the pro football team that hires his adult son?

    January 19, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. JRose

    Obama's son? The one that looks like Trayvon?

    January 19, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Scott

    I'm confused. I thought adults played pro-football. So The Fuhrer thinks he could tell his adult son what he could and could not do? Oh wait, we're talking about The Fuhrer here.

    January 19, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Tudelu

    What is it with Obama and his sons?

    January 19, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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