President Obama welcomed former NFL player LaVar Arrington and former pro soccer player Taylor Twellman to the White House on Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images).
President Barack Obama opened a day-long summit on concussions at the White House on Thursday by calling for more research into youth concussions, according to an Associated Press report.
"We want our kids participating in sports," Obama said. "As parents though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information.
"We have to change a culture that says, 'suck it up.'"
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Obama cited uncertainty with the long-term impacts of concussions on young people as an impetus for greater research. Present at Thursday's summit were representatives from pro sports leagues, as well youth coaches, parents, athletes and medical professionals.
The president also announced a $30 million joint research effort by the NCAA and Defense Department, as well as the NFL's $25 million commitment over the next three years regarding youth sports safety.
From the AP report: "Nearly 250,000 kids and young adults visit hospital emergency rooms each year with brain injuries caused by sports or other recreational activity, the White House said.BURKE: Jahvid Best suing NFL over concussions
"Obama had waded into the debate over concussions before, saying that if he had sons, he would "have to think long and hard" about whether he would allow them to play football. As the father of two daughters, Obama tried to broaden out the discussion over head injuries, saying that young people who play soccer, lacrosse, hockey and other sports also are at risk."