By now, former US President Donald Trump’s controversial history with the NFL is well documented. While many know that Trump has publicly feuded with players like Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality, Trump’s fractious relationship with the league actually goes back further. In 2014, he allegedly inflated his net worth to buy the Buffalo Bills, according to CNN Money. “I bid a billion dollars, all in cash on the table. [Terrence Pegula] bought it for a billion two I think although they say it was a billion four. I think he got it for two billion,” Trump told Sports Illustrated at the time. After losing the bid, he took to Twitter to vent his outrage, writing (via CNN Money), “Even though I refused to pay a ridiculous price for the Buffalo Bills, I would have produced a winner. That’s not going to happen now.”
In recent years, Trump has lashed out at the NFL over the take-a-knee controversy and encouraged his supporters to boycott it, according to The Washington Post. As of 2017, The New York Times also reported that he criticized the league for being “soft” and complained about the lack of big hits. Whichever way you put it, Trump clearly has scores to settle. Is it any wonder that he is reluctant to encourage his son to take up the sport?
Donald Trump thinks football is too dangerous for Barron
Despite Donald and Melania Trump’s son Barron Trump shunning the limelight, many people are still interested in the ex-president’s youngest child. In 2018, Melania shared that Barron was “all into sports,” according to Town & Country. But if Donald has anything to say on the matter, Barron won’t be putting on pads to hit the gridiron anytime soon. Despite claims that the NFL has gone soft, Donald told CBS’ Face the Nation in 2019 that he wasn’t keen on Barron playing football because it was a “dangerous sport.”
“I just don’t like the reports that have to do with football,” he said. “I mean it’s a dangerous sport and I think it’s really tough. I thought the equipment would get better and it is. The helmets have gotten a lot better, but that didn’t solve the problem.”
Donald also referenced NFL players who have said they will not allow their sons to play the game due to the risk of head trauma. “It’s not entirely unique, but I would have a hard time,” he added. However, his concerns about safety contradict previous comments he has made about the NFL. For example, during a 2016 rally in Reno, Nevada, Donald complained to the Washington Post about penalty flags. “Football has gone soft as our country has gone soft,” he said.
What sport does Barron Trump play instead of soccer?
What sport will Barron Trump turn to after soccer is off the table? According to Sportbible, the teen is into the kind of football you play with your feet, AKA soccer. In June, a fan posted footage of Barron playing football on Twitter with the caption: “The new Peter Crouch…???” (For the uninitiated, Crouch was a former England striker who played for his country as well as for clubs like Liverpool and Tottenham played.)
According to Sportbible, Barron is a fan of current Premier League leaders Arsenal FC and has a good knowledge of football in general. During his father Donald Trump’s tenure, Barron benefited from the many influential athletes who came to the White House. These included DC United’s Patrick Mullins, who praised Barron’s interest in football. “[Barron] was very knowledgeable about football, knew DC United and was keen to learn more,” said Mullins. In 2017, NBC Sports reported that Barron had signed with DC United’s development academy and was playing as a midfielder.
Donald is also aware of his son’s love for the beautiful game. “[Barron] actually plays a lot of soccer. He likes football,” the former commander in chief told CBS’ Face the Nation. “
Research shows that soccer is a dangerous sport
Ultimately, perhaps for the best, Donald Trump is anxious to keep his son out of American football. In 2017, Donald criticized the NFL for enacting new rules banning certain hits because he felt it detracted from the entertainment value of the sport, via Business Insider. But there was a good reason for the decision. Research shows that soccer players and boxers often suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) due to repeated blows to the head. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease that can cause depression, impulse control problems, memory loss and aggression, according to research from Boston University. The NFL only admitted the connection between football and CTE in 2016, according to NBC News.
Even so, Donald Barron may not be completely banned from the football field. When asked during CBS’ Face the Nation interview if he would let his son play American football professionally, Donald replied, “If he wanted to? Yes. Would I steer him like this? No, I wouldn’t.” Sounds like Barron isn’t interested in the NFL anyway, at least for now.