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. Paiste2oo2

    I wonder if he would let his son keep his health insurance?

    January 19, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. Tom

    Saying he wouldn't let his fictitious son play professional football, is such a political thing to say. Why doesn't he just say he wouldn't let his son play football. Not withstanding all the head injuries high school and college players sustain. By the time they would get to the pros they would have been so vested in the game by their skills and talent there would be no turning back.

    January 19, 2014 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Brains over brawn

    Any rational human would never let their son play football. And seeing people attack our president proves whats wrong with america...too many irrational idiots.

    January 19, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. Jay

    If Obama had a son that was eligible to play professional football, it means he had an adult son that could make his own decisions. But I completely understand the gaffe, since Obama finds it difficult to accept that adults can and should make their own decisions.

    January 19, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Name

    That's just un American

    January 19, 2014 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  6. Charlotte, NC

    Obama please learn how to govern before you get into what we choose to do. I am a black man who supported you without question. However, you are full of lies and you have turned out to be like every other President.

    January 19, 2014 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. tannim

    Obama has enough brain damage being a liberal whacko that he has become an expert on it, so of course he feels that way. But his kid would likely be straightened out by it instead...

    January 19, 2014 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. a better question

    But would he "let" a son - or his growing daughters - serve their country in the US military where the stakes can be even higher? I wish someone would ask that question ... and that he be allowed to answer it. As a parent, it isn't our place to bar our children from making adult decisions once they reach the age of 18. Guide and counsel, yes. But to "not allow" doesn't work, Mr. President. Respectfully, a proud USAF Mom.

    January 19, 2014 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Name

    Do they play football in Kenya?

    January 19, 2014 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. kennygdf

    They let girls play football? If he had son, I can imagine...

    January 19, 2014 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. Nodack

    Let's start another Congressional investigation into it.

    January 19, 2014 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. Tony

    So it's ok for someone else's son to play football, but not his own? ...Typical elitist mentality.

    He probably feels that way about the military, as well...

    January 19, 2014 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. Jt

    Peyton manning was just interviewed. He said he wouldn't let his kids be politicians.

    January 19, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. MT

    It is becoming rather obvious that the President is intent on tearing down anything American. Oh well, we elected him, so I suppose it is time to roll down the curtain and learn how to salute a supreme leader. The east moves forward while we slide backward.

    January 19, 2014 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    No-duh, around 1/2 of all the games are on FOX sports

    January 19, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  16. aukarm

    if his son displayed the same form as him in the picture, I don't think playing football at any level would be an issue. Looks like the redhead on modern family throwing a football.

    January 19, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. melissa06

    He won't let him play a team sport with coaches watching out for them, but he'd let him smoke pot in someone's basement.... Make good choices...

    January 19, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. Ben

    Pro – Football? Don't you have to be an adult to play that? What kind of person would raise a child 'NOT' to make his own decisions?

    January 19, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. sam

    IF obama had a son as good as he is, he could only play little league where every one gets a trophy!!! Besides oboma has come out!

    January 19, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. JC

    That's all well and good, but if Obama were poor, and his son had an opportunity to make a good life for himself playing football, I highly doubt he would have the same position. Since his kids will be rich off of name alone he will never know what it's like to have to make those decisions. But hey, let's all listen to what the Manchurian candidate has to say! Let's not.

    January 19, 2014 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  21. Jack

    If Barack Obama had a son old enough to play pro football, Barack Obama wouldn't be making his son's decisions.

    January 19, 2014 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. Charlotte

    I understand his sentiment but if he had a son, by the time the son is old enough to play pro football, I don't think the President would really have much say in the matter. If he kept him from playing child football, however – through high school and through age 18 – then probably he wouldn't be playing pro football either since he wouldn't have developed as a football player. Ofcourse it's an academic argument which is why all the dummies like guy king, who do not grasp what is a hypothetical, fail to understand.

    January 19, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. IndianaGreg

    The relationship he has with this imaginary son sure is touching

    January 19, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. Robert Schoales

    Every player and all of their families know it's just a matter of time until you wind up punch drunk. Maybe you luck out, but enough hits are going to take their toll.

    January 19, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. John Schwittek

    but he will let his son feed at the public trough.

    January 19, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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