President Donald Trump making a hypocritical proclamation is no longer surprising. Neither is his ability to spout off opinions on a variety of subjects, seemingly with limited (if not outright incorrect) information to back it up. In this case of hypocrisy, we’re talking about football.
In an interview with CBS News’ Face the Nation, Trump told host Margaret Brennan that he would let his son, Barron, play football “if he wanted to,” but “would I steer him that way? No, I wouldn’t.” He thinks the sport is “dangerous.”
While it’s good and fine for any parent to not want their child to do any sport, Trump has previously commented that he thinks efforts to reduce dangerous violence in football is, basically, destroying the sport as we know it.
At a rally in September 2017, Trump told the crowd that the NFL’s decision to remove players for aggressive tackles shifted football from “not the same game” it had been in the past. He went as far as to pronounce that they were “ruining the game,” as reported by NBC News.
To be clear, risks associated with playing football are serious. As reported by the New York Times, there is a link between the violence in football and degenerative brain diseases, of which Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is most commonly discussed. Oh, and the NFL even acknowledges this.
(CTE may lead to depression, impaired judgment, aggression, and memory loss, and can only be diagnosed postmortem, making it especially concerning.)
Other risks associated with football include concussions, traumatic brain injuries, memory loss, and of course, physical ailments.
What’s hypocritical—and not remotely surprising—is that out of one side of his mouth, Trump complains about football not being violent enough, while also on the fence about having his own son play. But for the professional football players (so many of whom are men of color) who might be at serious risk of injury, including the 70 percent of whom are black men? Bring on the violence.
Oh, and Trump didn’t quite diss the NFL, either. In the interview, which was taped prior to Super Bowl Sunday, Trump notes that he thinks the NFL is a “great product,” which is somehow not the most bizarre thing to come out of his mouth.