Obama: ‘I would not let my son play pro football’

If President Obama had a son (he doesn't), pro football would be out of the question.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Obama believes NFL players "know what they’re doing" and understand the effect concussions could have on their long-term health, but says he would not let his son (if he had one) play pro football.

The comments came in a lengthy interview with The New Yorker published Sunday.

"At this point, there’s a little bit of caveat emptor," Obama told the magazine. "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?"

A $765 million settlement the NFL reached last summer with former players does not concede liability for brain injuries such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) that may have been the result of playing football, but the money will be split among former players and medical researchers. A federal judge has not yet approved the deal.

Obama’s comments to editor David Remnick, a former sportswriter for The Washington Post, drew a parallel to boxing.

"I would not let my son play pro football," he said. "But, I mean, you wrote a lot about boxing, right? We’re sort of in the same realm."

In a January 2013 interview with The New Republic, the president had said that if he had a son he would think long and hard before allowing him to play.