Baltimore Ravens star safety Ed Reed agreed with the comments made by President Barack Obama to The New Republic about football being a violent sport and taking steps to make it safer.
“I am with Obama,” Reed said Monday after learning that President Obama said that if he had a son, he would have second thoughts about allowing him to play.
Reed said, “I have a son. I am not forcing football on my son. If he wants to play it … I can’t make decisions for him. All I can do is say, ‘Son, I played it so you don’t have to.’ ”
Reed, who is an 11-year veteran, emphasized that he would like to be part of the solution in addressing player safety. He would like to see improvements in the medical system.
“We’ve got some leaks in it that need to be worked out,” Reed said to ESPN. “Every medical training room should be upgraded; training rooms can be a lot better.”
Reed’s opinion is in the minority of teammates and San Francisco 49ers players, who are preparing for Sunday’s Super Bowl game.
“This is something we chose to do,” Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. “When you talk about little kids doing it, they are not having the collisions we have in the NFL.”
Aldon Smith, a linebacker for the 49ers, is one of the many San Francisco players who do not have a problem with allowing his kids to play football.
“It’s a physical game,” Smith said. “Everybody plays hard. And guys get hit sometimes. That’s what we all know coming into the game.”
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San Francisco guard Alex Boone would not object to his son pursuing a football career, and salutes the NFL for teaching children the proper techniques before it is too late.
Obama admitted that the game of football may become “a little bit less exciting” due to the changes to protect players, but it will be better for players and their families.
President Obama’s remarks grabbed the attention of 49ers cornerback Tarrell Brown.
“I can understand what President Obama is saying, but at the same time, the league is putting things” in place for safety, Brown said.
But even with the recent and ongoing changes, Reed feels that there are still some holes that need to be filled.
“I even tell the guys that they have to take care of their bodies, take care of themselves,” Reed said. “If you take of that, it will take care of you.”
Reed reminded reporters that football safety will continue to improve, but when the president addresses the issue, it has become serious.