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Barack Obama to Host Conference About Sports Concussions, President Particularly Concerned About Football

First Posted: May 17, 2014 10:43 AM EDT

The White House announced Friday that President Obama will hold a conference to discuss sports concussions on May 29. 

Concussions have been a hot topic as of late because of mounting evidence that concussions incurred during sports, such as football, can have long-lasting, negative effects. The conference will specifically focus on the safety of youth sports, according to USA Today

President Obama will host the conference, called the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit, with parents, young athletes, coaches, professional athletes, medical experts and military service members. 

"The president will announce new commitments by both the public and private sectors to raise awareness about how to identify, treat and prevent concussions, and conduct additional research in the field of sports-related concussions that will help us better address these problems," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. 

Carney added that Obama is both a parent and a sports fan and understands the importance of sports for kids. 

"[President Obama] appreciates the role that sports plays in the lives of young people, and his administration is committed to helping ensure that children continue to be active and play sports safely," he said.

Obama previously brought up the dangerous effects of concussions during a 2013 interview with The New Republic magazine. 

''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,'' Obama said. ''And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence."

While some sports professionals and fans were angered by the president's comments, health professionals agreed that certain contact sports must be modified to reduce the number of concussions. 

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