Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg admitted Monday that supporting college football is morally “problematic.”
Buttigieg told Jewish Insider’s Ben Jacobs that he would “hesitate to let his children play football,” saying that the current amateur model — scholarships in return for athletic participation — wasn’t “really fair anymore.”
Avid Notre Dame fan Pete Buttigieg tells me that he has moral qualms about being a college football fan, saying its “problematic.” He doesn’t think the amateur model “is really fair anymore” and would hesitate to let his children play football.
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) September 23, 2019
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) September 23, 2019
Pete Buttigieg has college-football issues. “I think about it from a perspective of a city that relies on college football in the same way that Bahrain relies on fossil fuel.” https://t.co/msaHBAuC6I
— David A. Graham (@GrahamDavidA) September 23, 2019
“First, you need to look at what we owe students. Obviously the model says you get an education in exchange for contributing this way, plus the sport is supposed to be its own reward, but I don’t think that that’s really fair anymore,” Buttigieg told Jacobs. (RELATED: Abby Huntsman Loves ‘Mayor Pete,’ But He Does One Thing That Makes Her ‘Uncomfortable’)
But the South Bend, Indiana, mayor sees it as a bit of a moral dilemma — he’s a big fan of his town’s school, which is famous for its football team: Notre Dame. “I think about it from a perspective of a city that relies on college football in the same way that Bahrain relies on fossil fuel,” he explained.
Buttigieg concluded by conceding, “It’s problematic and I don’t have a solution for it,” noting that if he and his husband Chasten were to have a family, he would likely “hesitate” to allow his children to play football.