The Washington Post

President Obama: “I would not let my son play pro football”

President Barack Obama . (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

On the Sunday on which the Super Bowl participants will be decided, President Barack Obama reiterates in a newly published interview his concerns about the dangers of the game and how he reconciles those concerns with being a fan.

There’s an awareness of the sport’s dangers, just as with boxing and smoking, he noted in a conversation with The New Yorker’s David Remnick that took place aboard Air Force One on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. As he and Remnick spoke of other matters, Remnick noted that Obama’s eyes wandered to a TV that was showing the Miami Dolphins-Carolina Panthers game and Remnick asked if increasing awareness about the immediate and long-range consequences of concussions led to conflicting emotions about enjoying the sport.

“I would not let my son play pro football,” he told Remnick, “but, I mean, you wrote a lot about boxing, right? We’re sort of in the same realm.”

He’d said the same thing about letting his child play the sport in a New Republic interview almost a year ago and, with Remnick, he said the same thing so many players say about the dangers of the game: they know what they signed up for.

“At this point, there’s a little bit of caveat emptor,” Obama, who, Remnick noted, was chewing Nicorette, said. “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?”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Cindy Boren · January 17, 2014