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Obama would change the way football is played

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 28th, 2013
Catholic Online (

Is President Obama ready to tackle football? Obama revealed that he has some concerns over the sport and how it's played in an interview with the New Republic. Obama told his interviewer that it would be a tough decision to allow his son to play football.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The man who has not hesitated to leave Americans in harm's way (Benghazi, Afghanistan) is concerned that football would be too violent a sport for his son, if he had one.

"I'm a big football fan," Obama told New Republic, "but I have to tell you that if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football." He then added, "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."

That Obama thinks football should be under his review should surprise nobody. Obama is building a reputation for reaching far when it comes to his opinion on policy; Obama's opinions tend to seep into policy over time, and in surprising places.

He then found a chance to inset a plug for unions - for college players. "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 should be reminded that college players are grown men too, all quite old enough to die for their country.

The fact is, player safety is a priority in sports, including in the NFL, NCAA, and across the athletic spectrum in the United States. While all activity has inherent dangers, and football has always produced injuries, millions of Americans from children to adults, play football on a regular basis and do so without injury or harm.

While many sporting activities are considered contact sports, that does not mean they inflict severe violence on participants in most cases. Even practitioners of the martial arts, boxing, and wrestling, manage to enjoy the activity without sustaining traumatic injuries. The occasional ache and pain is part of all sporting activities, even jogging and yoga can produce discomfort.

Unfortunate injuries and tragedies do occur, and these can be the result of traumatic contacts in the course of play. Certainly, sporting associations always study these issues carefully and update their rules as needed to protect players. The good news then, is Obama doesn't need to do much to ensure player safety. His concerns are already being addressed, even at the college level where there are no unions to play politics with.

Hopefully Obama remains on the sidelines, and lets the players and associations keep the games both safe and entertaining for the rest of us.

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