President Obama Questions the Future of Football

by Myeisha Essex
ObamaAre the health and safety risks associated with playing football worth it for college players? This is the question President Obama is currently asking himself.
The commander-in-chief revealed in an interview with The New Republic that if he had a son, he’d “have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”
President Obama said he’s concerned about the lifelong neurological maladies that football players face — especially college-aged players — and he’s considering making adjustments to make the sport safer.
“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,” Obama said, who is a self-admitted Chicago Bears fan.
“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,” he explained. “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.”
In September, a study published in the journal Neurology found that professional football players are three times more likely than the general public to have neurodegenerative diseases. And when it came to Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the risk for football players increased four times.
“Now, the problem is, if you talk to NFL players, they’re going to tell you, ‘That that’s the risk I take; this is the game I play.’ And I don’t know whether you can make football (be) football if there’s not some pretty significant risk factors,” he said.
What do you think of President Obama’s concern? Should football alter its rules to decrease health and safety risks? Is this a realistic goal for the president? You weigh in. 
  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    I respect Obama but this is something he should stay out of. It is a great topic to get publicity on and pad your stats on but I dont want to hear jack out of his mouth unless it is ECONOMY related. That is his only job for the next 4 years, fix this mess of an economy starting with the infrastructure.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    Yes, I do think that football should change its rules to make things safer. I don’t know that the President needs to get involved.

    It troubles me to see so many men (and a disproportionate number of black men,) putting their minds and bodies at risk for a chance at fame and fortune. If we were stressing academics more, people wouldn’t view sports as one of the only ways to improve their economic situations.

    I also don’t see what is entertaining about watching people injure one another (football, MMA,boxing,etc.) but that is getting slightly off-topic.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    They should pay college football players. That way they would at least have something to show for risking their long term health. If coaches, TV networks and sponsors are making millions each year, then they can afford to pay the athletes.

  • Elessar

    As others have said, to me this doesn’t seem to be a presidential issue.

    I think there’s no reason or excuse for the acceptability of severe injuries in football. Rugby, which is essentially football without padding or helmets, uses different tackling methods to reduce injuries. As such, international rugby players have far longer and healthier careers than American football players, and very rarely have neurological problems in their old age. Perhaps the NCAA and NFL could consider adopting some rugby tactics.

  • SMH

    Lol. Something tells me Barack is about to go HAM on everybody. Any day now..

  • http://www.geekmommarants.com GeekMommaRants

    Why is a woman’s site have a football story? How many play Football?

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “They should pay college football players”

    the white man is addicted to slave labor.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    women watch football.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    There are millions of women who are football fans, have a son, husband, boyfriend, etc. who play. And, girls and woman are starting to play football as well.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    i am happy Obama spoke an showed leadership on this issue.

    the NFL is a multi billion industry. don’t tell they cannot develop safety. Obama pointed out that the money will be drying up if the owners do not invest in player safety.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “They should pay college football players”

    other wise it’s just new jack slave labor….

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