Head injuries in football have become a hot button issue over the past few years, both inside and outside the sport. In an interview with Franklin Foer and Chris Hughes of The New Republic, President Barack Obama weighed in on the issue, and said that if he had a son, he's not sure he would let him play football.
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. 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.
President Obama also said that between college football players and professional football players, he's more worried about the damage that college players are doing to their bodies.
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.
New equipment and rule changes have been made to help curb the occurrences of head injuries in both the NFL and college football, but it's impossible to completely eliminate the risk without fundamentally changing the game. It's certainly possible that new advances in safety and equipment could do more to keep football players safe from head injuries, but there's no way to get around the easiest way to avoid head injuries: Just don't play.