Pelley: There has been concern about the safety of football at all levels: high school, college and in the NFL. If you had a son, would you let him play?
Obama: Well, as I said before, I’d have to think about it. You know it’s hard to say no to a kid when they’ve got a passion for something, and I’ve got daughters. They don’t have a passion for football. It is a great sport. I am a huge fan, but there is no doubt that some of the concerns that we’ve learned about when it comes to concussions have to give parents pause. And as I said before, I feel differently about the NFL. These are grown men. They’re well compensated. They know the risks that are involved. But as we start thinking about, you know, the pipeline: Pop Warner, high school, college, I want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make the sport safer, and that means that the game’s probably going to evolve a little bit. And for those of us who like to see a big hit, and enjoy the rock ‘em sock ‘em elements of the game, you know, we’re probably going to be occasionally frustrated. I know defensive players in the NFL get frustrated now because some of the changes in the rules, but I do think that we want to make sure that after people have played the game, that they’re going to be okay. And I’m glad to see that the NFL is starting to take this seriously, and I understand that Commissioner Goodell has authorized $30 million to the NIH to study issues of how we can prevent concussions. But these are serious issues, and especially for younger kids as well as college players who don’t make a big salary playing the sport, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep them safe.