WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama called Thursday for more robust research into youth concussions, saying there remains deep uncertainty over both the scope of the troubling issue and the long-term impacts on young people.
"We want our kids participating in sports," Obama said as he opened a daylong summit at the White House. "As parents though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information."
The summit signaled an effort by Obama to elevate a national conversation over youth concussions. The White House brought together representatives of professional sports leagues, coaches, parents, young athletes, medical professionals and others for the event.
Obama, an avid sports fan and father of two daughters involved in athletics, highlighted millions of dollars in pledges and other support from the National Football League, the National Institutes of Health and others to conduct research that could begin to provide answers and improve safety.
The president said additional research needs to also be combined with a broader recognition of the need to take the matter seriously.
"We have to change a culture that says, 'suck it up,' " he said.