Obama on youth sports: ‘We have to change a culture that says you suck it up’

obama-football
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

President Barack Obama had some gems of wisdom to impart Thursday on matters that seem very presidential . . . to someone.

At a White House summit on concussions in youth sports, he told attendees, “we have to change a culture that says you suck it up.”

(This, by the way, on the heels of this week’s ever-important White House Science Fair photo-op).

Obama also talked about hits he endured while playing Pop Warner football, according to the Washington Examiner.

“There were a couple of times where I’m sure that that ringing sensation in my head and the need to sit down for a while might have been a mild concussion, and at the time you didn’t think anything of it,” he said.

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Looking to change the culture in youth sports, the event focused on education and prevention.

“Identifying a concussion and being able to self-diagnose that this is something that I need to take care of doesn’t make you weak – it means you’re strong,” the president told attendees.

The event provided a rare opportunity for Obama to pivot away from the numerous scandals that have beset his administration. The National Football League participated, as did the Pentagon and several professional athletes.

Obama once said that if he had a son, he would not want him to play football, but said the goal is not to discourage youth from playing sports, according to the Examiner.

“We want our kids participating in sports,” he said. “As parents though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information.”

CNN reported on some results from the summit:

The White House announced initiatives, including an effort to help start a national concussion database through the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as a $30 million partnership between the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Department of Defense to fund the most comprehensive clinical study of concussions among college athletes.

The NFL will commit $25 million to work with the National Athletic Trainers Association to get more athletic trainers in high schools. Currently, about half of all high schools have no athletic trainers on their sidelines.

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