Obama to address sports safety, NFL donates $25M to research

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

President Obama will host a youth sports safety summit at the White House. (USATSI)
President Obama will host a youth sports safety summit at the White House. (USATSI)

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President Barack Obama will host a summit at the White House Thursday to help educate the public about youth sports concussions. Representatives from professional sports leagues -- including the NFL -- will be in attendance along with coaches, parents, players and researchers.

The president will also highlight support -- monetary and otherwise -- from the NFL, National Institutes of Health and the Pop Warner Little Scholars to further the research in making youth sports as safe as possible.

The NFL has committed $25 million over the next three years to promote youth sports safety.

More details via the Associated Press:

The NIH is undertaking a new research effort on the chronic effects of repetitive concussions, work supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health through an initial investment of $16 million from the NFL.

With a $10 million investment from Steve Tisch, UCLA will launch a program named for the New York Giants co-owner to target sports concussion prevention, outreach, research and treatment for athletes of all ages, but especially youth. The money will also support planning for a national system to determine the incidence of youth sports concussions. The Institute of Medicine report had called for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish and oversee such a system.

Pop Warner Little Scholars, a private youth league, will participate in a research project that tracks concussions and concussion trends in high school sports.

"[The President], as a parent, is concerned about the safety of his own daughters," White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri said, according to the AP.

Last year, Obama said that if he had a son he wouldn't let him play football.

"I would not let my son play pro football," he said days before the Feb. 2013 Super Bowl between the Ravens and 49ers. "I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you, if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football."

Last August, the NFL agreed to pay $765 million to settle a concussion claim from more than 4,500 former players. The settlement is still awaiting a judge's approval.

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