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. yolanda

    Gosh @Tampa, thanks again for yet another constructive contribution. Your depth of originality is stunning.

    January 19, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. blakenaustin

    More far left nonsense from a compulsive liar and scandal ridden president that has zero credibility. Who cares what he thinks?

    January 19, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. ptmom02

    He should have left out the word pro. It's foolish to let a child be exposed to injury over a stupid sport. Dumbing down of America in action. Middle schoolers I know have had terrible injuries including cracked vertebrae, absolutely insane and should be considered child abuse.

    January 19, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. Thomas Nichols

    Who cares?

    January 19, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. Joe The Plumber

    Which father had a say about his son's NFL contract?

    January 19, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. donald ross

    And we should care why?

    January 19, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Doris

    "They use their potential and skills to become independent. "

    Two wrongs don't make a right. (Engaging in something known to be potentially hazardous and starting from the beginning in a direction that leaves you with only potential and skills useful in contact sports.)

    January 19, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Dadzooks

    Obama is nothing but full of hot air.

    January 19, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Cutedog2

    Of course it begs the question of what violent sport resulted in his brain injury.

    January 19, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. bilbfit

    That's strange, with all his sons out there on the field today, apparently he isn't much of a daddy either.

    January 19, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. bmsvds

    After age 18, a son can play professional football if he has the skill and desire (without the permission of his parents).

    January 19, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. VEW2012

    President Obama doesn't have a son, but as a mother I wouldn't let a son who already had a knee injury problem play football, and knowing what I know now, I'm glad I didn't.

    January 19, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Jay Kassa

    Of course he wouldn't.
    Should be a foregone conclusion that he would say that.

    If you are land-locked in poverty and your son has a chance to earn a scholarship, than sure...
    Other than that, the number 1 reason that people let their sons play football is because of the football propaganda on the TV and in our culture. They don't think.

    January 19, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. Dan

    No surprise there. He looks to control every aspect of everyone else's lives...why not his imaginary son?

    January 19, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. Notarichboy

    Why doesn't he have or adopt a son then he can quit blabbing about his fictional one!

    January 19, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. M

    If Obama had a son he would have better options.

    January 19, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. Ted Max

    Obama would prefer his progeny become crack dealer.

    January 19, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Ben

    Really a stupid article for a whole host of obvious reasons...

    January 19, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. VEW2012

    Frankly, I agree with the president. Look at the later years of many of these players. The odds of making it to a national football league or to make any money from the talent is not that great. Why risk later life dementia and other injury problems for that?

    January 19, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Old_School

    How would a parent prevent an adult child from playing pro football? Another case of worthless reporting on a totally stupid statement. I am disappointed our President did not realize how poorly that statement makes him look.

    January 19, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. G

    He wouldn't let his son play football but I bet he'd let his daughter get an abortion. His comments are worthless just like his moral fiber.

    January 19, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. SoSezYou

    So what? Lots of parents feel the same way...besides it is well known the President is more of an NBA fan than NFL. No doubt the Fox Outrage Machine is gearing up for another scream session.

    January 19, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. The Iceman Cometh

    Obama stated, if he had a son he would be Trayvon Martin.

    January 19, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. meitis

    And how the heck is he going to stop an ADULT son from playing a sport that the ADULT son enjoys.

    January 19, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. SixDegrees

    Pro football is played by adults, and Obama has no power to ban any adult from participating in it, including his postulated son.

    Sounds like someone's gotten carried away with his power.

    January 19, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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