The president of the United States recently weighed in on the brewing controversy about whether or not football is safe for young children. This led to some of the current NFL players being asked about the president’s remarks.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs says that he respects the president’s words, but says that in spite of the evidence, he will allow his four-year old son to play whatever sport he wants.
“It would have to be his choice,” Suggs said. “Football isn’t for everybody. If my son … came to me and said, ‘Dad, I want to play football,’ then I would let him play.”
The president made his remarks in an interview with The New Republic in response to an increasing number of studies showing evidence that football destroys the human brain in ways that make the damage nearly irreparable.
“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.
“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,” he added. “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.”
Ravens safety Ed Reed actually says that he agrees with the president. He says that his sacrifices on the field were made so that his son could avoid the sport.
“I am with Obama,” Reed said. “I have a son. I am not forcing football on my son. If he wants to play it … I can’t make decisions for him. All I can do is say, ‘Son, I played it so you don’t have to.’”
Reed says that the controversy is a call for change in the league. He should know football, he was in the Pro Bowl nine times.
“We’ve got some leaks in it that need to be worked out,” Reed said. “Every medical training room should be upgraded; training rooms can be a lot better. When you’ve got the president talking about it, you got something.”
It was recently announced that former NFL superstar Junior Seau was the victim of very serious head trauma before he killed himself last year. He is one of several players found to have chronic traumatic ecephalopathy, or CTE. The condition is caused by getting numerous blows to the head. Seau’s family is suing the NFL, along with many other victims.