The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 29, 2013

49ers respond to Obama’s concerns

NEW ORLEANS — Aldon Smith was among several players preparing for the Super Bowl who doesn’t see anything wrong with their kids playing football.

Responding to President Obama’s comments questioning the safety of the game, the 49ers’ All-Pro linebacker and a few teammates said they’d allow their sons to follow them into the sport.

“It’s not like we signed up and thought we were going to play tennis,” Smith said Monday. “It’s a physical game. Everybody plays hard. And guys get hit sometimes. That’s what we all know coming into the game. We all signed up for it.

“We came out to play football.”

Guard Alex Boone was adamant that football has to be “physical,” while adding he believed the league and the players association were attempting to make the game safer.

“If he wants to play, he can play. He can do whatever he wants,” Boone said of having a son pursue footballs. “With little kids, you don’t really have to worry about them that much. But as you get older, you have to understand the game better.

“I think the NFL is doing a great job with that right now with the little kids, try to teach them now, young, so that they understand. But, it’s just football. It’s going to be physical.”

While acknowledging he’s a football fan, Obama told The New Republic he’s concerned about the violent nature of the sport — enough so that if he had a son, he’d think twice about allowing him to play.

“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,” he said.

“In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014

  • Aggie’s QB Chuckie Keeton talk dominates Mountain West media day

    LAS VEGAS — Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton got his junior season off to a superb start, only to have it derailed by a knee injury in Game 6....

    July 24, 2014

  • Heavily favored U.S. group faces off against world’s best female golfers

    OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The inaugural International Crown is unique for what it isn’t. Thirty-two elite players from eight countries will compete at Caves Valley Golf Club to determine which nation has the best women’s players in the world. ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Weir, DeLaet attempt to end 60-year Open drought

    MONTREAL — Mike Weir was well aware that it has been 60 years since a Canadian won the Canadian Open....

    July 24, 2014

  • Pyrenees help leader Nibali, winner Rogers in Stage 16

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Mountain stage rough on Yankee rider

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Tuesday for the first of three mountain stages that may well determine the final podium of this year’s race....

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong prefers not talking about a national title

    DALLAS — Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game....

    July 23, 2014