Obama is getting a lot of attention for a wide-ranging review he gave to The New Republic. The POTUS staked out his position on all sorts of controversial issues, including gun control and immigration – and the safety of playing football.
The interviewer asked the president, "Sticking with the culture of violence, but on a much less dramatic scale: I'm wondering if you, as a fan, take less pleasure in watching football, knowing the impact that the game takes on its players?"
"I'm a big football fan," Obama replied. "But I have to tell you if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football. And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much."
He explained that he's more concerned for younger college players than NFL players, because "the NFL players have a union, they're grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies. You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That's something that I'd like to see the NCAA think about," he added.