Unlike several players at the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed agrees with President Obama that football needs to be made safer...
NEW ORLEANS — Unlike several players at the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed agrees with President Obama that football needs to be made safer. Reed wants to be part of the solution, too.
The 11-year veteran and one of the most respected players in the NFL said Monday at the Super Bowl that Obama’s comments questioning the safety of the game are on target. Reed added he’d like to be someone “to help work it out.”
“I am with Obama,” Reed said after learning of the president’s concerns about parents allowing their sons to play football. “I have a son. I am not forcing football on my son. If he wants to play it … I can’t make decisions for him. All I can do is say, ‘Son, I played it so you don’t have to.’ “
Reed, a nine-time Pro Bowler, believes football’s medical system is broken.
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“We’ve got some leaks in it that need to be worked out,” he said. “Every medical training room should be upgraded; training rooms can be a lot better.
“When you’ve got the president talking about it, you got something.”
Reed’s opinion was far from the majority among Ravens and San Francisco 49ers asked about Obama’s comments as they prepared for Sunday’s Super Bowl. Teammate Joe Flacco said no one forced football on him or anyone else in the NFL.
“This is something we chose to do,” the quarterback said. “When you talk about little kids doing it, they are not having the collisions we have in the NFL.”
San Francisco All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was among several 49ers who don’t see anything wrong with their kids playing football.
“It’s not like we signed up and thought we were going to play tennis,” Smith said. “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.”
• Kwame Harris, former 49ers and Raiders offensive lineman, faces felony domestic violence charges in the beating of an ex-boyfriend in the parking lot of a Menlo Park< Calif., restaurant after an argument sparked by soy sauce, attorneys said.
Harris pleaded not guilty to one count each of domestic violence and assault causing great bodily injury and could face up to nine years in prison if convicted. The trouble started Aug. 21 when Harris — a former first round NFL draft pick who played at Stanford — and ex-boyfriend Dimitri Geier of Los Angeles were sharing dinner at Su Hong restaurant in Menlo Park, according to attorneys and a prosecutor. Harris was to drive Geier to San Francisco International Airport for a flight after the meal. But the men began to argue after Geier poured soy sauce on some rice, which upset Harris, according to a lawsuit Geier filed in San Mateo County in October.
The arguing continued and escalated, until finally Harris withdrew his offer to drop Geier off at the airport. Geier agreed to take a cab instead, but as they went to retrieve his bags from Harris’ car the dispute turned violent. Harris allegedly tried to pull down Geier’s pants and accused him of stealing his underwear, according to the suit. Later, the struggle turned to punches being thrown.
During his NFL career, Harris did not come out as being gay or bisexual.
• According to a poll by USA Today, 61 percent of NFL players disapprove of commissioner Roger Goodell’s performance.