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3 Feb, 2019 16:34

‘I’d have a hard time with it’: Trump wouldn’t want son Barron to play ‘dangerous’ football

‘I’d have a hard time with it’: Trump wouldn’t want son Barron to play ‘dangerous’ football

Donald Trump says he wouldn't be keen on son Barron playing American football, calling it a “dangerous sport” as the US president offered his thoughts ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Barron Trump, 12, is a well-known fan of the football more commonly known in the US as soccer.

When CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ asked Trump Sr whether he would support his son if he preferred to take up gridiron, Trump said: “It's a very tough question… If he wanted to? Yes. Would I steer him that way? No, I wouldn't."

The NFL has faced increased scrutiny over concussion issues in recent years, and it was reported last year that more than $500 million in claims had been approved as part of a settlement agreement with former players.

Also on rt.com NFL player retires at 24 after suffering 6th concussion

Trump said the game beloved by millions of Americans was “a great product,” but “a dangerous sport.”

“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 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 hate to say it because I love to watch football,” Trump added.  

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“I think the NFL is a great product, but I really think that as far as my son – well I've heard NFL players saying they wouldn't let their sons play football. So, It's not totally unique, but I would have a hard time with it.”

He instead said that Barron “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.”

The popularity of soccer could see a further boost in the US as it gears up to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026 along with Canada and Mexico.

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On the topic of the NFL, Trump has famously – and frequently – hit out at players in recent times regarding the anthem protests initiated by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

READ MORE: Kaepernick mural gets the boot in Atlanta ahead of Super Bowl (VIDEO)

The Republican has even gone as far as calling on NFL owners to fire players who choose to ‘take a knee’ in protest at perceived racial injustice in the US.   

Trump again had strong words over the protests, but claimed that players “have been respecting the flag and their [the league’s] ratings have been terrific ever since.”  

"You can't be kneeling for the national anthem. You have to respect our flag and our country. I want that as president and I'd want that as a citizen.  

"But they haven't been kneeling and they have been respecting the flag and their ratings have been terrific ever since. And a lot of good things happened," Trump said.  

The comments came ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia, which will see the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams while an audience in excess of 100 million watches across the US.

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