Obama concerned about brain injuries in football

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President Obama has weighed in on the subject of brain injuries in football, saying that as a parent, he’s not sure he’d allow a son to play.

“I’m a big football fan, 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,” Obama said in an interview with the New Republic. “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.”

The NFL has taken most of the public criticism for head injuries, but Obama said his greater concern is for amateur players who aren’t getting paid and may not have as full an appreciation of the risks.

“I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that 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,” Obama said. “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.”

The NFL has stayed a step ahead of the NCAA, both in enforcing rules designed to limit hits to the head and in treating players who suffer concussions. But fans of football at every level should be prepared for more political pressure on the sport to dramatically reduce hits to the head.

108 responses to “Obama concerned about brain injuries in football

  1. You want less guys with Alzheimer’s when they’re 70? Okay no problem. Here’s more guys walking with canes when they’re 40. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  2. I think the billionaire owners will figure this out. Worry about why government cant operate within a budget when every family and business must in order to survive.

  3. He should stick to the things he doesn’t know about, like politice, and health care.

    Better yet he shoud get Jay Z to help him with this one since Jay z is his vice president.

  4. Football bums me out now, everything carries so many consequences. Thank god for basketball. I love football, but I’m starting to feel guilty for watching it.

  5. Oh yes he should be! He’s taken care of all the other problems facing our nation so we definitely need him looking into football injuries. Save us from ourselves yet again Mr. President.

  6. Obama has a certain way of doing things. He wont get involved directly, but he will make it harder to get to games.

    Here is what he does. I’ll use green energy as an example. He wants us all to buy windmills and solar panels. He talks about it all the time. Well, we (people) cant afford windmills and solar panels, and besides, the power company has cheaper rates than we can make our own personal power for. So, what to do, right? You make rules and laws that increase the power companies cost so they will pass it on to the consumer. Soon enough, the power company is charging pretty close to what you can set up your own power for. Green energy didnt get less expensive, the cost of the “dirty energy” went up. All the sudden, these two means of power cost nearly the same. And no lib is the wiser.

    Same thing will happen with football. There will be some measure to make it more expensive to do and that cost will get passed on to the consumer. Pretty qick people wont be able to afford to go to games (owners are doing a good job of that themselves, but just wait). Then, games start getting blacked out so we cant even watch them on TV. All the sudden, no more head injuries because there is no more football.

    Apparently half of the countries football fans love him. I cant beleive we were stupid enough as a nation to re-elect this clown. He has piped in on this, he will do something.

  7. Interesting that he feels college players will have “nothing to fall back on.”

    What about that free education they should be receiving?

  8. I wish he and others not involved in football would stay more involved in what they do or what they’re supposed to be doing. For his case, how about getting things turned around without the constant kicking of the can down the road?

    You may be a celebrity rock star to some Obama, but many of us dont want to hear it. Especially when you start chiming in on things like football.

  9. I’m sure he was ASKED this question. Do you expect him to say ‘Nope, I don’t care about brain injuries.’? Of course not.

  10. Still listening to Rahm,Barrack? “Never let a crisis go to waste”. Worry about jobs and our debt, not football! Go play Soccer or something

  11. This is the first I’ve ever heard of President Obama being a “big football fan”. Basketball and golf, yes, but not football.

    I wish the President and our other “leaders” would stick to what they have been elected to govern, and keep their noses and hands away from football.

  12. We are all concerned, and I hate it when things like this make news, it’s like he says it because he has to say it, takes away form the true issue, like everybody has said before me, he needs to concentrate on the bigger issues of the country and leave sports to the experts.

  13. obama gets a lot of support but when you start talking about football on a controversial manner you better duck idc who you are your about to catch some serious heat lol.. better if the prez stays out of this topic according to 80 per of the comments lolol but hes on his last term so i doubt he really cares anymore what ppl think of him at this point

  14. This is so simple to fix.
    First, expand the rosters to 63 players to minimize the game contact per player. Get rid of the 46 man gameday roster as it is proven that that does not work for a 16 game schedule.
    Second, institute a concussion policy. A player who gets a concussion must sit out 1 week. For example, if a player gets a concussion in week 3 then he is not eligible to return until week 5. If the same player gets a second concussion then he must sit out two weeks. For example, if a player gets a concussion in week 6 then he should not be eligible to play until week 9. If the same player gets a third concussion in the season then he is placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season.
    There should be an inactive list so a team can place a player with a concussion or minor injury (4 week recovery or less) on the list until he is healthy enough to return. The team should be allowed to add a player from the practice squad to the 63 man roster to play for the player on the inactive list.
    Third, add kevlar to all helmets to reduce the impact of the contact to the human brain.
    These changes are better than none.

  15. Maybe he should be concerned about what is going on in the world, instead of his opinion on all sports, if he would use his sense on 1/2 % of what he is really supposed to do, instead of being the best in socializing with the baseball, football, basketball, players owners etc! Don’t care about your thoughts in sports, do your job!

  16. I don’t watch Fox News, but I think this man has more pressing issues. Like trying not to make big government involved in every single facet of our lives and not saddling my children and grandchildren with unimaginable debt. Or, in other words, he needs to build a time machine and go back and erase the last 4 years.

    Stay away from football. You’ve ‘helped’ enough already.

  17. This has been fun. Read other stuff; not just Breitbart, Drudge, Fox News and other Right-Wing stuff. Read some Left-Wing and Moderate stuff too!

    Reminds me of this talk I had with a Republican a couple of days ago. He told me that I couldn’t make a decision because I’m a Moderate Independent. I told him that I have made my decision, but my decisions doesn’t mesh with any party. In other words, I agree with some views of both parties and disagree with some views of both parties.

    So how did I come to these views. I read and listen to both sides and form my own opinion. I hope you do the same instead of parroting the same lines fed by Fox or MSNBC.

  18. If you people believe Obama screwed this country up, you should really do some research. He was asked a questioned and he answered it. Get over yourselves! He is a fan just like me and you.

  19. What about our jobs, debt, deficits and social security? I think that’s more important! The guy just doesn’t get it!

  20. I love that the President isn’t entitled to an opinion about anything. The “right wing” is still butt hurt that their chosen one lost, the “left wing” still thinks everything is great. Those of us in the middle see things ARE getting better, but we still have a climb ahead. He spoke his opinion on a hot subject, when asked about it. Next time you want to chastise him for answering questions when asked, do us a favor and keep your opinions to yourselves. He has a point, the upside, in my OPINION, is that they may have found a way to detect damage in living players this week. Also, he got rid of Bush’s anti stem cell garbage. Stem cells will be a major part of fixing these issues, and being able to find damage in living players will help us get there faster, making the sport safer as a whole.

  21. It would be nice if the president were a little more concerned with the debt and spending problems that face our nation instead of worrying about football.

  22. mannyicey says:
    Jan 27, 2013 10:55 AM

    Reminds me of this talk I had with a Republican a couple of days ago. He told me that I couldn’t make a decision because I’m a Moderate Independent. I told him that I have made my decision, but my decisions doesn’t mesh with any party. In other words, I agree with some views of both parties and disagree with some views of both parties.
    ————————-

    This exactly. This is the terrible part of a 2 party system that locks out any and all people that don’t agree with either party 100%. If you’re even 80/20% left or right, you get pushed right out for be too far to the other side. The world is not black and white, why should politics?

  23. Did he just say college players have nothing to fall back on? In that case the insinuation is either that a degree is useless, or that the degrees college football players are earning are useless. Honestly I think cleaning up the NCAA should be the bigger priority. It’s a professional sports league that doesn’t pay the players, they are supposed to be amateur players who receive no benefits for being players and yet the system is infested with improper benefits, and worst of all these schools will cover up crime because it poses a threat to their money (which shouldn’t even exist in an amateur league).

    Come on, you really expect me to believe Vince “Wonderlic 6” Young is capable of going through four years university?

  24. I call BS to every one who thinks he should concern himself with economy and jobs; he is. Just because he responds to question does not mean he has his priorities are elsewhere. If Bush had concerns about what private industry was up to, we would not be in the mess we are today. Its called leadership and regulation.

  25. “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.”

    Hmm….seems like I have heard this type of sentiment from him before….on another topic….what could that be…???

  26. I wish the president you sheep elected would Balance the budget and quit worrying about professional sports.

  27. If you think Obama has ruined this country`s economy you are nuts,This economy was ruined before he ever took over…..The blame for that goes to George W. Bush.However Obama haters are blind to this fact!!!

  28. So many say the President should shut up and worry about jobs and the economy. The man is not allowed an opinion. I could say the same for many of you, what have you done about the jobs and economy. Half of you couldn’t take the time from your busy schedule to vote; how on earth do you find time comment on football. Most of you should get back to work.

  29. Just what we needed … the intrusion of our dysfunctional politics into pro football.

    Now we’re going to have Democrats, wanting more laws, pushing for a tax on helmet-to-helmet hits, and Republicans, wanting to disagree with Obama, arguing that concussions are good for you.

  30. All political BS aside, I don’t see how anyone can object to what he actually said. Football (at all levels) can either change to protect players from repeated head trauma, or it can cease to exist as a viable sport in this country.

  31. I watch sports and listen to sports radio so that I don’t have to listen to the moronic debate that passes for political discourse in this country. Can we please get back to football?

  32. So anyone that doesn’t like Obama must watch Fox News…..you know by thinking that you are also admitting that every other network favors him right?

  33. What does this have to do with Tony Romo being a choke artist and losing the big game? Does this mean Tony Romo is related to Mitt Romney?

  34. So he’s worried about people who make millions getting injured but not about the troops stepping on land mines protecting other countries citizens. That’s nice.

  35. Pretty soon he’s gonna tax all the NFL players to play for healthcare for Arena and flag football leaguers

  36. This is exactly why Washington is so polarized today. Obama says something — ANYTHING — and the right disagree with him (the worst part is when they call everyone else sheep just because we don’t hate the President as much as they do).

    We really don’t have to have politics in sports for this exact reason.

  37. Of course there will be wise cracks here from idiot republicans.
    The same reason why the republicans keep losing elections. They are disconnected with reality.
    Thank the heavens for the tea party. They are dragging what is left of a failed party straight into the sewer.
    OBAMA!!!!!!4 More Years!!!!

    Oh and for some reason football fans are 60 percent republicans.

  38. Who cares what Obama thinks about football? This guy is a reality TV show. The media just buys his BS for 10 times it’s worth.

    Get back to work fixing our economy instead of worrying about stuff that portrays well in the media. You cant be elected again so actually go get something done now.

  39. I’m concerned about the extra $85 dollars he’s been pulling out of my paycheck every week. Oh well, at least I know my money is being spent well paying for a cell phone or an abortion for a member of FSA.

  40. Conservatives keep losing elections because there are more people in this country who want to collect hand outs, than there are hard working people. When one out numbers the other, you win elections.

  41. A football player gets hurt making millions, and we worry. Military get hurt/die making 20-60k (enlisted members) and the president worries about football injuries. I see Home boy has his head in the right place.

  42. Obama is not qualified to discuss whether a son of his should be allowed to play football – that’s the son’s decision, not his. The brain injury issue has now officially become junk science because it is not as prevalent as the media is portraying it to be.

  43. this is why we are still in debt your more worried about football players rather then our country shame shame shame( seriouly how did this guy get so many votes again) i didnt vote and my vote wouldnt have mattered anyway. but if it did he would be gone.

  44. Everytime he wins he shows his true colors and shows everyone who voted for him that they should never do it again(but people have there heads so far up there a that they will vote for him. why not be a gm of the nfl instead of trying to run this counrty

  45. joemac1114 says:Jan 27, 2013 12:43 PM

    So many say the President should shut up and worry about jobs and the economy. The man is not allowed an opinion. I could say the same for many of you, what have you done about the jobs and economy. Half of you couldn’t take the time from your busy schedule to vote; how on earth do you find time comment on football. Most of you should get back to work
    _____________________________
    one im at work(not my fault its slow )2 i help by paying taxes to support lazy bums of america 3 ya i didnt vote and like i said one vote does not matter 4 hes allowed to speak after his job is done instead of getting us out of debt and worring about troops he worried about people who get at a min 100k and our troops have a life at stake job and get paid less then half that min so if you feel like hes right, you need alot of help

  46. I love the Obama supporters on here that deflect critism by blaming GW Bush. Stating “He ruined the economy”. As is all the other deficit presidents : Clintion, HW Bush, Reagan, Carter ect. Had nothing to do with it too. America is screwed because our education system sucks and by extension it can be argued most voters are uneducated and need a “hand up” as the politically correct say. The rest of us just look at our striking paychecks and increased cost of living and call it what it is, a “hand out”. But during everybody as soon as we are all broke and the dollar is worthless, we’ll all be new cell phones!

  47. he didnt ruin our economy but he sure isnt helping fixing it, wasnt this also the guy who spent over like 60k or 100k on a party serving guest soemthing like kobe steak (something like that not sure) but he spent more than i make in 2 years on a party, and i guess thats helping us right?

  48. How bout producing a budget to work by since you haven’t had one in almost 1400 days. Try to figure out that basic, and then we’ll move on to your opinion on sports.

  49. Further driving our economy and health care system into the ground, sadly blind sheep will drink the kool-aid, stay quiet and let that happen…attempt to ruin football and he will be impeached in an hour…so please mr president do us all a favor and get yourself impeached

  50. Oh Christ, Now this idiot wants to share his 2 cents on what he thinks is best for the game, Wait, maybe its a good thing, instead of using his time to ruining our country’s finances, he’ll spend time on “saving” football…….

  51. This has nothing to do with the left or the right. Obama seems to be doing things that are of no concern to the office of the President. He needs to worry about jobs, wasteful spending, work on the US debt, record number of people on food stamps and record number of children going to bed hungry every night. He needs to worry about the senseless killings in the gun control city of Chicago. Seven killings just yesterday. Did he grow up watching football? I highly doubt it.

  52. I am more worried about the “brain injuries” apparently suffered by voters that led then into voting for Barry O…..

    Mr. President if the NFL wants someone to ruin football they will make you the next NFL commissioner. Now you can go back to doing what you do best. Ruining the Country and trying to take another freedom away……

  53. I am more concerned about brain injury among the members of the Obama administration.
    Is he going to ban AR-15s in the NFL?

  54. Alot of hate for the pres. People unite! Its still going, the wheels of this economy are still pumpin. Get off your high horses and let the man talk football!!
    then he can handle getting our money back from the ingrates that wanna swindle your tax dollars and nt pay them back!! He gots this

  55. He should be worried. A few of those guys whose brains get affected will make good candidates for politicians and OHB’s job will be in danger /:,

  56. Obbie is concerned about football brain damage.

    “This week, over 100 million Americans will be flopped out on couches and easy chairs across the country, stuffing their overweight bodies with fatty foods and snacks, while their brains rot for the best part of the day. Some will never recover.”.

  57. Stop with the politics, he was asked the question and answered it.
    My son is 10, and wants to play football this fall. I’m really unsure if i will let him. I’ve played in over 200 semi-pro football games and have first hand knowledge of what happens out on that field. We had a guy die from a hit in our league 3 seasons ago. Thats NUTS !
    I do know that if I do decide to let my son play, he will have the top of the line helmet.

  58. What I find interesting is how this board has commenters that are mostly conservative. You bash liberals at Hardball Talk and you’ll get thumb downed to oblivion. I wonder what the difference is between football fans and baseball fans. I always assumed there was a lot of overlap.

  59. loveorhatethejets says:
    Jan 27, 2013 2:52 PM

    one im at work(not my fault its slow )2 i help by paying taxes to support lazy bums of america 3 ya i didnt vote and like i said one vote does not matter 4 hes allowed to speak after his job is done instead of getting us out of debt and worring about troops he worried about people who get at a min 100k and our troops have a life at stake job and get paid less then half that min so if you feel like hes right, you need alot of help.
    _______________________________

    Unbelievable, one vote does matter, it’s guys like you who sit around and whine but never do anything that are the problem. And if you worked for me, I don’t want you wasting my internet connection and time I am paying for, to play online. Surely there is some work you could be doing. Or maybe you could even read something work related, to you know, get better at your job.
    Obama answering a question about news story seems to send you guys over the edge.

  60. Guys, he was asked the question, and he answered it. That’s all. It’s not like he was saying it’s going to be a focus for his agenda.

    Face it, to some of you, there is not a thing this man could ever say or do that you would not criticize.

  61. Great summmary ! Now you know why a moderate independent like me split years ago for the border. Up here in Moosehead land, we have a party called the Liberals that are more conservative than the other parties. In this mad, mad world, it all makes sense.

  62. BO should start his own sport. The southpaw is succeeding tossing twinkiebamas to his cow. The sport shall be called ‘BO-MO’. Injuries would be nil because of their soft centers. The economy would perk up because of the new jobs created by the new players and the new manufacturing plants. He could become CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board of BO-MO. His real life expertise would qualify him for President-elect forever.

  63. These comments have provided an interesting insight into the mind of the “typical” Pro Football Talk commenter, and it’s pretty depressing. If the commenters here are really no different than the folks on freerepublic or Breitbart or some other right-wing nut site, then it’s a sad commentary on the type of person attracted to this site. I don’t have any problem with individual comments attacking the president, that’s to be expected in any random group of people. It’s the overwhelming anti-Obama tone of the vast majority of the comments, which are clearly way out of the political mainstream, that I find troubling.

  64. Tell me why Obama feels the need to comment on what the NFL has done all year long instead of doing his job…cant wait til his term is over!

  65. Has anyone compared the dangers of playing football to say a contruction job? If you compile all the people involved with football at EVERY level, I would bet Football is 100x safer. People lose their lives every day in the construction industry – and end up with CRAZY bad long term problems from a host of hazzards.

    Football, at every level, is amazingly safe. Sure, its not 100%, but WHAT is? In this world you have to compare between the alternitive than judge something on its own merit.

  66. Ambulance Chasers like Obama will kill the sport in 15 years. It doesn’t matter, Obamacare will make our healthcare so expensive, nobody will be able to afford the NFL anyway.

  67. Commander in Chief is recruiting daily into the Marines. He sends them into Pakistan to get Bin Laden. How much are they paid? We are supposed to worry about NFL millionaires and billionaires?

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