With legal challenges mounting to the football industry's regulation of player safety, a new figure who carries a big stick has weighed in on the issue: President Barack Obama.
In an interview with The New Republic, Obama called on the NCAA to address the growing concerns over head injuries:
"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. 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."
These kinds of public remarks from the Oval Office often serve as a proverbial "shot across the bow" to stakeholders. Whether or not Obama would actually get involved with mandating changes to player-safety regulations is anybody's guess. Chances are, however, that the powers that be who run college football would prefer to drive their own reforms before the federal government decides to take charge.
Nice to see our President weighing in on the most important issues of our day here. Always cracks me up seeing politicians of any kind weighing in on these vitally important topics to our nation... Oh wait, we're nearly 17 trillion in debt & have nearly 8% unemployment. Politicians should just shut up about these issues they know nothing about. What's next? Are we gonna hear him weigh in on who The Bachelor should pick?
@andycoppens Something to consider: If a legitimate presidential candidate made banning football part of his campaign platform, how would that affect voter turnout?
@Blatant Homerism If? Lest you forget that football was already banned by Teddy Roosevelt once before?
@Blatant Homerism no doubt about it and if I remember correctly it wasn't a "ballot issue" and I don't think it ever would be. But, somehow if this is an issue that presidential candidates are running on our country will either have already gone to hell or be in awesome shape, lol. It's a great thing to think about though.
@andycoppens That was more than 100 years ago and I'm pretty sure it was done unilaterally by executive order. My point is that it's an issue that a ton of people would care about if it was a de facto ballot question.
@andycoppens I like that you assume Obama "knows nothing about" college football and that people who "know nothing" "should just shut up." I take it that makes you some sort of expert in the field who is permitted to have an opinion?
@BlitzburghBrian I never assumed anything about Obama period. I'm very well aware of how big a sports fan he is, but why the need to weigh in on a topic - even if asked about it - when we've got much bigger issues as a country to deal with. That was my point, simple as that.
@andycoppens To be fair Andy, he was asked about the topic in an interview. He didn't bring it up on his own, and the topic came much deeper in an interview focused on violence and focused more on gun violence.