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. aj

    how could he tell an adult what not to do? I think you have to be an adult to play pro football

    January 19, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. Bob Knippel

    1. A son old enough to play professional football would be old enough to make his own decisions, which would leave Obama out of the equation.

    2. A parent standing in the way of a son making the kind of money a professional football player does can't be exercising the kind of judgement one might like to see applied in government, especially regarding fiscal matters.

    January 19, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. Leopold Stotch

    Who cares? Obama doesn't have a son probably won't at this stage, so once again: WHO CARES!? This is not news America.

    January 19, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  4. Deac

    Why would he? He's raped the next generation enough to pay for his grand children's grandchildren

    January 19, 2014 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. The Cure

    Really? Why can't this president just stay out of sports. He must want the national past time be soccer. BARF.

    January 19, 2014 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. What

    I have to agree with guy king. He doesn't have a son, so he knows little. Makes you wonder if he would "allow" his son to serve his country and face a greater possibility of TBI, loss of limb, or death. I don't get it.

    January 19, 2014 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. Frank

    I wouldn't let my son either. But then again, who wants their sons to play a sport that has one of the most injuries and concussions? No one would want that. Howver, if he wants to play at college, then, to me, he is already an adult and can choose what he wants to do. I will protect my son iimtil he is old enough to protect himself. But I will always be there to provide advice and help if he asks. Even if he is 18, wants to play football, and asks my help to buy him things, i will help because I will respect his decision as an adult.

    January 19, 2014 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. YeahRight

    It's not up to Obama to tell a hypothetical adult son that he can't take the job of his choosing.

    Of course, Obama thinks everything is up to him, but we all knew that already.

    January 19, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. thecatwhispererblog

    Of course not. His agenda is to get rid of the NFL – it's the holy grail to progressives. With guns and abortion – it would be a trifecta: It's male-dominated, and it "exploits the black man" for money. As if they wouldn't play if only they had known they could get hurt.

    The goal is to create more dependents on government, not independents. And the main exploiter of black men – black people – is the government.

    The "transformation of America" agenda is to weaken us from as many angles as possible: enlarge the entitlement class (amnesty for illegals), force people to take Obamacare,lengthen indefinitely unemployment benefits, widen welfare benefits, war on coal, and tax, tax, tax the middle class...even the Republicans in Congress have jumped on the gravy train.

    In the end, R + D politicians aren't much different. McCain, Reid, Pelosi, Boehner, Obama, whatever. Greed. and hatred of those who have never produced anything or worked in their lives for those who do. Politicians are an entitlement class all their own. Obama could never have played sports and he sneers at those who do. Why? 'Cause he's an intellectual college professor of which no one ever remembers having taken a class. Not even the chair of the department...

    So, not surprising football isn't his thing.

    January 19, 2014 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. TheSadTruth

    Helmets protect the skull, but still allow a great deal of force to affect the brain. It does seem sad that football and other traditional sports may disappear from high schools, but a parent needs to protect their children.

    January 19, 2014 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. Rock

    If he had a son, he wouldn't be big enough or tough enough to play anyway so it's a wasted comment.

    January 19, 2014 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. Matt B

    Obama is soft. It's a mans sport. He'd never understand. Better go back to Chicago and let more people control him like the puppet he is.

    January 19, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  13. Jay

    Of course he wouldn't; he's such a ball-less pansy he wouldn't try Ping-Pong!

    January 19, 2014 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. Name

    Of course not if he had a son he'd be too much of a wuss to play football!

    January 19, 2014 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Ridiculous

    How many imaginary sons does this guy have?

    January 19, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. newshound

    Of course not. He hates anything American.

    January 19, 2014 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. jimbob

    The idea that he can tell a 20+ year old what he can & cannot do, fits with everything else we know about him...

    January 19, 2014 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. Harold Read

    Fluff piece on Obama's imaginary son. Is this really news-worthy?

    January 19, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. Mike

    He wouldn't let his son play pro-football. Not just "football," but "pro football." What control does he imagine he would have over his 22 year old son that was about to take a job that would make said son a millionaire? Is he some kind of control freak that would seek to micro-manage his grown son?

    January 19, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Avnshm

    I have a son and I wouldn't let him play this sport either. Thanks for the honest answer, Mr.President. There are other fathers that feel the same as you on this.

    January 19, 2014 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  21. Sharn Cedar

    Obama keeps talking about his son. Is there something we don't know?

    January 19, 2014 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. Polopoint

    Nor would I.

    January 19, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. JeffreyRO5

    Since you have to be an adult to play pro football, how, exactly, does President Obama intend to "ban" his adult son from choosing to play??

    January 19, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Terry

    omg, who on earth care except braindamaged dems?

    January 19, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Wade

    WOW Obama is such a GOD! He can control what an ADULT Imaginary son of his would do or not! LOL.... Obama the total liar loser and hypocrite.

    January 19, 2014 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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