That wasn't President Obama talking. That was Super Bowl-bound safety Bernard Pollard, wondering how the sport -- increasingly linked to concussions that in turn are linked to chronic headaches, dementia, depression and even suicide -- can make itself less violent without losing its appeal to fans. As the linked article notes, the real threat to the future of pro football is parents who won't let their kids take up the sport, now that more is known about the long-term risks. I don't know if that kills football, but it could auger a long period of decline -- not unlike boxing, which survives...but lacks the thrill of its early-to-mid 20th Century heyday.
It's strange to watch what's happening to American sports these days. On one hand, the public craves the excitement and escape of sports more than any time in our history -- check out the NFL's TV ratings if you have any doubt. At the same time, the pressure to win is destroying the actual athletes, on the inside (Lance Armstrong, or check out the latest on Alex Rodriguez) and on the outside (the late Junior Seau.)