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. loverpoint

    I would never let my son play tackle football until he was a junior in H.S.

    You can learn all the skills of football without playing tackle football. You can play tackle football without the pads

    January 19, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Jon Audette

    Funny, I thought the person living the life was the one that calls the shots. Not everyone is a pathetic puppet like you, Mr. President. Some have their own thoughts, their own minds, and their own desires. You've effortlessly shot down any dreams many in the US have had, and you'd do the same to your own son?

    January 19, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. John

    Obama has a lot of hypothetical sons. It is easy to make decisions with sons that don't exist.

    January 19, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Bob

    This has got to be the most active non-existent son I have ever heard of.

    January 19, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. A Fan

    I voted 4 u both times but you didn't say whether u would let your son play middle,hs,or coll fb 1st. If he was drafted or signed as a free agent and 18 or older,respectfully,u can't keep him from signing a contract. As a constitutional law prof at UC law school,I'm sure u know this1

    January 19, 2014 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Devon

    Obama, the leader of the woosification of America.

    January 19, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. evans yotam abdulin

    He must be unfair dad, because chaps has the right to be what they want.

    January 19, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. Jim Jimson

    If I had a son he'd be wimp like me – Obama....

    January 19, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. Rachel

    With the way Obama throws a football like a girl, I don't think he would've had to worry about that happening if you had a son.

    January 19, 2014 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. Dean


    Football is sport played by and watched by meatheads. A president finally comes along that's not afraid to say so.

    Well since Obama is an avid sports fan and roots for the Bears, he fits into that meathead category. Along with being a loser as president.

    January 19, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  11. SJM

    By the time a son is drafted for Pro football he would be legal age and his father would not be able to block the son from playing. At 18 parents loose the right to deny things to their children.

    January 19, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. david

    Pretty arrogant to say he would not let him play in the NFL. This son who he does not have might not be good enough to play football at any level. Just another of his brainless dreams.

    January 19, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. Tom

    Of course not. They use their potential and skills to become independent.
    It seems Pres Obama's desire is to have people become dependent on others and the government."

    Yawn, another conservative making the same old tired baseless accusations. Because Obama expresses concern about pro football injuries, he automatically becomes a socialist and favors everyone being a lazy bum!

    Get a life buddy!

    January 19, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. poseidon

    The POTUS throws like a girl

    January 19, 2014 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. NameGoose

    Only Obama would not let his son play football, however he would let his son smoke weed. Obama you are a very confused man!

    January 19, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. dc bling

    If Obama had a son he'd wear hoodies. Why...because he told us so.

    January 19, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. usm

    Obama wouldn't let his son play football, but he would allow him to smoke pot........GREAT parenting skills.

    January 19, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. Jackomoo De Jackomoo

    Well said by the president.

    January 19, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. Name

    Seriously, this is news? I couldn't care less about any personal family decisions that this President might make. Yet another completely ametuerish statement from the President regarding something he has no clue about. Please Sir go back to the school yard.

    January 19, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. dave

    If Barry had a son the taxpayer would be in deeper for vacation money

    January 19, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  21. Econ for dummies

    highschool girls soccer has the most concussions. There is always a risk factor in any sport.

    January 19, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. Fred T

    Can someone please remind our President he has no sons?

    January 19, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. c

    Nice to proclaim such a thing when know one is actully asking him to play.....just so the world knows i probably wont let my lil girl play either...just saying

    January 19, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. David B.

    Well it is a dumb game like most sports. What is the Point of Sports? Not really for the most Intelligent people. Look at the athletes. What Pro Sports Player in any Sport has done anything significant other than play a dumb game? They do not contribute to Curing a disease or making society better. They may donate money as a tax relief but so do many others. Who cares about Sports. Really when I played most games and they are games I felt why am I doing this and what do these people get out of it? After 48 years on earth I know I am different and glad I am. I would rather Idolize someone who cures Aids or Cancer as they are the true heroes, not some idiot who plays a stupid game.

    January 19, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. patw2100

    Further proof of his determination to control the lives of all Americans.

    January 19, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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