One overlooked piece of President Barack Obama’s interview in The New Yorker magazine was his derogatory comments about football.
“I would not let my son play football,” the president told the magazine. “At this point, there’s a little bit of a 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?”
David Boze hypothesized that Obama’s interview may a sort-of policy guide for lawmakers looking to continue the War on Football – denigrating the sport as dangerous or even deadly, and trying to outlaw masculinity.
“If the president is going to compare players in the NFL to smokers, people are going to be scrutinizing the game,” Boze said. “This indicates a definite battle plan for the war on football.”
The anti-football types would like to remove all risk from life, it seems, preventing young men from even the slightest roughhousing.
But while the president likens football to smoking, he does not take into account the alternative. Young men left to sit and play video games – or worse, engage in criminal activities, or begin using drugs and alcohol – are apt to develop diseases worse than any tackle would cause.
One surprising voice of sanity in the War on Football: Richard Sherman. He wrote a column for Sports Illustrated recently acknowledging the danger of the game, but defending the right to play as an individual choice.
“Do I think about the consequences 30 years down the line?” Sherman wrote. “No more than I think about the food I’m enjoying today, which could be revealed in 30 years to cause cancer or a heart murmur or something else unpredictable. Those are the things you can’t plan for, and the kind of optimism I have right now is the only way to live. And the next time I get hit in the head and I can’t see straight, if I can, I’ll get back up and pretend like nothing happened.
“If you don’t like it, stop watching.”