Trump: 'I Would Have a Hard Time' Letting Barron Play Football

By Susan Jones | February 4, 2019 | 5:25 AM EST

Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump embraces his son Barron after speaking at the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

( - In an interview with CBS News that aired hours before the biggest football game of the year, President Donald Trump admitted he would be reluctant to let his almost-13-year-old son Barron play football.

"I would have a hard time with it," Trump said.

"Would you let your son Barron play football?" Margaret Brennan, the host of "Face the Nation," asked the president.

“It's very -- it's a very tough question. And it's a very good question," Trump responded. "If he wanted to? Yes. Would I steer him that way? No, I wouldn't."


"Why?" Brennan asked him.

I wouldn't. And he actually plays a lot of soccer. He's liking soccer. And a lot of people, including me, thought soccer would probably never make it in this country, but it really is moving forward rapidly.

I -- I just don't like the reports that I see coming out having to do with football. I mean, it's a dangerous sport. And I think it's -- I -- it's really tough.

I thought the equipment would get better. And it has. The helmets have gotten far better, but it hasn't solved the problem. So, you know, I -- I hate to say it, because I love to watch football. I think the NFL is a great product.

But I really think that, as far as my son -- well, I have heard NFL players saying they wouldn't let their sons play football. So, it's not totally unique, but I -- I would have a hard time with it.

Brennan also asked the president about the controversy surrounding NFL players who kneel in protest when the National Anthem is played.

"Are you sensitive at all to players like Colin Kaepernick, who point out that the majority of victims of police violence are black?" she asked Trump.

Trump noted that he recently signed a criminal justice reform bill into law, accomplishing what President Obama tried to do. "And I got it done," he said, adding that "a lot of people in the NFL have been calling and thanking me for it."

"You know that people have been trying to get that taken care of," Trump said. "And it's now signed into law and affects tremendous numbers of people, and very good people. I think that when you want to protest, I think that's great. But I don't think you do it at the sake of our flag, at the sake of our National Anthem, absolutely."

Trump said people must always respect the flag and the anthem: "And I think there are plenty of places and times you can protest. And you can do a lot. But you can't do that. That's my opinion."

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