WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama congratulated the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, saluting their victories on the field and their contributions to their community.
Noting that some football analysts didn’t see Seattle as a top-tier team, Obama said he especially appreciated the team overcoming long odds.
“As a guy who was elected president named Barack Obama, I root for the underdog,” the president joked.
The Seahawks clinched their first Super Bowl victory in the history of the franchise in February by beating the Denver Broncos 43-8.
The distinction for the team and by extension for the NFL came a day after a group of retired players accused the league in a lawsuit of turning a blind eye to the use of painkillers by teams that later led to serious complications.
In a nod to that controversy, Obama took note of Seahawks owner Paul Allen’s charitable foundation that has donated millions of dollars to research traumatic brain injuries. “Obviously this is a concern of the NFL, but is also a concern of our troops,” Obama said.