Obama Sparks New Debate Over Football Safety

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Recent talk about the dangers on the football field have many parents questioning whether their kids should play, including the President of the United States.

President Obama told The New Republic, “…if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.”

Damien Butler, the coach of several North Texas youth football teams says he agrees with the President’s comments to a certain extent.

Butler says too many youth programs do not focus enough on safety. His league uses high-tech equipment and on field medical personnel.

Butler suggests if parents are torn about whether to let their kids play, do your research and make sure safety is more important to the team than winning.

Baylor sports medicine specialist Robert Berry has been a NFL teams physician and had two sons who played in school.

“My 17-year-old had lots of injuries and at one point decided as a senior not to play football,” says Dr. Berry.

He believes the sport will have to confront long-term damage caused by head injuries.

“My oldest son had a concussion got to witness that firsthand,” explains Dr. Berry. “It certainly makes you step back and wonder if it’s worth the risk.”

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