Rush Limbaugh’s been on a real tear lately over what he says are “attacks” on football. Well, this is sure to have him ranting Monday.
President Obama has addressed the disturbing concussion rate among NFL players and says if he had a son he wouldn’t let him play pro football.
In a profile published by the New Yorker on Sunday, journalist David Remnick asked the president if he has mixed feelings about watching NFL games in light of reports about former players experiencing early onset dementia and other serious conditions as a result of their years in the league.
“I would not let my son play pro football,” Obama said. “But, I mean, you wrote a lot about boxing, right? We’re sort of in the same realm.” He continued, “At this point, there’s a little bit of caveat emptor.. These guys, they know what they’re doing. They know what they’re buying into. It is no longer a secret. It’s sort of the feeling I have about smokers, you know?”
Obama expressed similar sentiment in a January 2013 interview with the New Republic. “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. “And 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.”
Also in the New Yorker profile, President Obama says pot is less dangerous than alcohol for individuals.
“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” Obama said. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” When Remnick pressed on whether marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, Obama thought about it for a while and said it was less dangerous “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer,” but emphasized that “it’s not something I encourage.” The president expressed particular concern with the disproportionate number of arrests for marijuana possession among minorities. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said, adding that individual users shouldn’t be locked up “for long stretches of jail time.”
Obama expressed some support for the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, noting that “it’s important for it to go forward.” At the same time though he warned that the legalization is going to be a “challenge,” in part because of the slippery-slope argument that could arise.