Monday, May 21, 2018
Sports

Obama speaks out on concussions

WASHINGTON — Saying he wants kids to play sports but play safely, President Barack Obama called Thursday for more research into the effects and treatment of concussions in young athletes.

But without direct authority over leagues, Obama's ability to address the issue is limited to calling for research and trying to jump-start a national conversation to teach parents, coaches and young athletes about concussions — the goal of a summit he hosted at the White House.

Obama said a new attitude is needed when players who have been hit don't feel wimpy for sitting out a game or two.

"We have to change a culture that says you suck it up," Obama said, adding he probably sustained mild concussions as a young football player. He noted concussions also are an issue in soccer, hockey, lacrosse and other contact sports.

The event brought together representatives of pro and college sports associations, coaches, parents, young athletes, doctors and others.

Obama was introduced by Victoria Bellucci of Huntingtown, Md., who suffered five concussions during her high school and club soccer career.

Victoria said the concussions made it hard to focus on school. She eventually turned down a scholarship to Towson (near Baltimore) and instead will attend Flagler (in St. Augustine) in the fall, the White House said.

"Concussions have drastically altered my life," she said.

Obama, an avid sports fan whose two daughters are active in them, also highlighted millions of dollars in pledges from the NFL, the National Institutes of Health and others for research that could provide answers and improve safety.

"We want our kids participating in sports," he said. "As parents, though, we want to keep them safe."

Nearly 250,000 kids and young adults visit hospital emergency rooms each year with brain injuries caused by sports or other recreational activity, Obama said. He noted the figure excludes those who see a family doctor or seek no treatment.

Obama previously waded into the debate over concussions last year, saying he'd have to think "long and hard" about allowing a son to play football because of the risk of head injury.

Among the pledges Obama highlighted are a $30 million joint research effort by the NCAA and Defense Department and the NFL's $25 million over three years to promote youth safety.

UCLA will use $10 million from New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch, who attended the summit, to launch a program to study sports concussion prevention, outreach, research and treatment for athletes of all ages but especially youth. The money also will support planning for a national system to determine the incidence of youth sports concussions.

Comments
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Angels game

* It's always interesting to think of how many amazing plays you see made in a game, then often a simple one — such as the fourth-inning comebacker to Rays RHP Matt Andriese — gets messed up and costs teams heavily, as that led to two run...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

Rays journal: Pitching plan works, until Sergio Romo leaves in second inning

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine Sunday for the Rays.It was the less-effective pitchers who followed, plus the ineffectiveness of their h...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

WINNIPEG — The Vegas Golden Knights are going to the Stanley Cup final — with a chip on their shoulder."Everybody on this team has something to prove," forward Ryan Reaves said. "We call ourselves 'The Golden Misfits' for a reason. We're ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

What a long, strange and winning road trip it was for Rays

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The nearly Yanny-vs.-Laurel level national debate over their latest pitching strategy innovation of starting relievers isn't quite as entertaining today. The In-N-Out burgers in the clubhouse after the game weren't as tasty. T...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif.  – Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine for the Rays on Sunday.It was the less effective pitchers who followed, and the ineffectiveness of...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

TAMPA – Capitals G Braden Holtby basically summed up playoff life for the Capitals after Saturday's Game 5 loss in the Eastern Conference final when he said the team never makes it easy for itself."No, we don't," coach Barry Trotz agreed Sunday...
Updated: 11 hours ago
For Bolts radio duo, being fans at heart is key to their success

For Bolts radio duo, being fans at heart is key to their success

As the last tension-filled seconds of a tight playoff game wind down, high above the Amalie Arena ice, the play-by-play man becomes increasingly animated.Dave Mishkin, eyes bulging, face purple, jumps from his seat, holding the headset with his left ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

TAMPA — The Lightning is a win away from a trip to the Stanley Cup final. Its Game 5 win Saturday, to take a 3-2 lead over the Washington Capitals, was another chapter of a story being written on the fly."Think about Game 1 in New Jersey,"...
Updated: 12 hours ago