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. davey

    Since Obama never knew his father, he couldn't have been influenced either way.

    January 19, 2014 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. mrecint

    He's not alone. There are a lot of ex football players who have admitted that they wouldn't let their kids play football. Favre is one of them. Not looking good when the league has to pay out half a billion in back concussion injuries... and that's not enough money to cover it....

    January 19, 2014 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  3. Jake

    If his son threw like him, there would be no need to worry about playing football or any other sport for that matter.

    January 19, 2014 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  4. Joe

    This guy Obama has got to be the biggest joke to come along since Vaudeville. In between his claims of not knowing anything going on in his Administration (or is it Valerie Jarrett's), he lectures us and whips up racial tension where none exists and, of course, he conjures up his imaginary son again and tells us what this kid would do, how he would act and how others would view him. Maybe Obama should change his name to Kreskin.

    January 19, 2014 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. Selmers

    But maybe he'd let his son be a crack dealer in Florida...

    January 19, 2014 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. charley

    More proof that Obama hates america !

    January 19, 2014 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. Name

    Dear Obama, what about boxing, resting, car racing, bike stunts,..? What about military? More people loose their life in political warfare then foot ball. What about that. Do you even care about America?

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

    Sick of this man saying if I had a son...he would be a millenial who at this time remind me of this generation of so called men feminized..if you want a son adopt one from chicago....i think he smoked too much mary jane when he was young and "if" he had a son so would he!

    January 19, 2014 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. A Smithee

    who cares what you as parent would let a son you don't even have do......football and sports in general teach kids life lessons

    January 19, 2014 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  10. Terry

    Wouldn't let his grown son play professional football? If this man can control his grown children in such a manor, imagine what he thinks about us!!

    January 19, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  11. J

    Why would he want his kid hit in the head?

    January 19, 2014 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. hubert39

    All people who play football should sign a letter that they will never sue anybody over football injuries. Parents could sign the letter for their children who play football.
    Over the coming years law suits could be in the billions of dollars every few years.
    Rookies in the pros know they will received millions of dollars from injuries years from now.
    Even college football players might sue the colleges where they played football.
    High schools next?

    January 19, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  13. LinebackerDad

    Sorry Mr. President – Pro level is too late for an intervention. You would have had to act before the start of HS football. At the Pro level the players came from college. They're adults,. If you had a son who was viable at the Pro NFL level, what could you do to stop him if that's what he chose? He wouldn't need your permission, or approval.

    January 19, 2014 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. Fearsome Kittens

    ...but, Obama didn't have a son – the ultimate proof that he's half a man.

    January 19, 2014 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  15. Steve

    Concussions and permanent brain damage, suicidal tendencies, knee damage, and neck injuries for money? It's a personal choice but a dumb one.

    January 19, 2014 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. jrs1972

    To be in pro football you have to be over 18 but obama being a raging liberal is not doubt convinced he was put on this planet to control others lives, he doesnt get people are, well used to be, free to make their own decisions.

    January 19, 2014 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  17. Jim

    "I would not let my son play pro football," Obama reportedly said. First you have no son Mr. Obama. Second, if you did have a son and he was an adult you can't force him to do anything. Your words are meaningless and hollow.

    January 19, 2014 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  18. skytag

    I don't see how this is news worthy of reporting, but I also don't see why an emotionally healthy person would attack him for not wanting a son to engage in such a potentially harmful activity if he had one. Attacking Obama for expressing normal protective parent feelings strikes me as a clear example of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    In my opinion, the people who engage in such behavior are fools. They attack him over everything imaginable, and in so doing destroy their credibility because at the core of their criticisms is the simple message: "I hate him, and it's personal."

    Once you establish that's the basis of your criticisms no objective minded person will take anything you say about him seriously.

    January 19, 2014 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  19. tracie

    But why?

    January 19, 2014 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. tracie

    Why? That is fun.

    January 19, 2014 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  21. Plusonegolfer

    I would like it better if the kid told his dad that he need to stop playing President...

    January 19, 2014 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  22. tm1946

    OK with pot smoking but no to football..... something wrong with this picture or is it him.

    January 19, 2014 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  23. karek40

    You have to perform to play pro football, if Obama had a son and he performed like his dad at president he wouldn't play in college much less in the pros.

    January 19, 2014 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. Brandon

    Knuckle draggers respond. When possible.

    January 19, 2014 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. Joe

    That's too bad, because then his son would have made more money than a president, doctor, teacher, and police/fireman combined gets paid.

    January 19, 2014 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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