President Barack Obama has spoken out on many issues during the course of his first and now second terms of presidency. With Super Bowl XLVII just a week away, Obama is now speaking out on the safety of football and the lasting effects it is having on many of the players. On Sunday ESPN.com reports that President Obama, although a fan of the sport, said that if he had a son he may think twice before letting him play the game.
Obama mentioned necessary changes that may have to take place to make the game safer and “a bit less exciting” for fans. In the interview with The New Republic that will appear in the Feb. 11 issue, Obama mentions he have more of a concern for players in college because in the NFL, players have a union and are paid.
“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 all back on. That’s something that I’d like to see the NCAA think about.”
A part of Obama’s concern and the overall concern of the NFL is the lasting affect the impact of the game has had on some of its players including the late Junior Seau who committed suicide at the young age of 43. Seau’s family sued the NFL claiming that Seau’s suicide was a result of brain disease caused by the violent hits he sustained while playing football.
The family of Seau said in a statement released by the AP:
“While Junior always expected to have aches and pains from his playing days, none of us ever fathomed that he would suffer a debilitating brain disease that would cause him to leave us too soon.”
The NFL has established rules to protect the players, but sometimes with the fast nature of the game, the pressure on players, and the raw emotion of the game, the rules are not enough. The answer has to be in better equipment and mainly in teaching proper technique in tackling at the younger stages.