President Trump’s call with sports league commissioners on Saturday reportedly included a few individuals who are not actually sports league commissioners.
That led some people to believe the commander-in-chief was going to give a message of “find a way to play your games” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sure enough, that proved to be true.
According to the White House, Trump started by telling commissioners he recognizes “the good work being done by many teams and players” to care for their communities and fans dealing with the new coronavirus.
In turn, the White House says the commissioners thanked the President for his “national leadership and for his interest in the sports industry.” He called on them to continue efforts to support their fellow Americans during the current challenge.
A wide range of sports league officials participated in the call, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
Donald Trump also told commissioners that he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September, sources said, though it is currently unclear if medical experts find that to be a realistic timeline amid the current coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/EFqDryGlTQ
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 4, 2020
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com has the list of participants in the teleconference. It also included Gary Bettman, Rob Manfred, Jay Monahan, who runs the PGA tour, Cathy Engelbert, Commissioner of the WNBA, either John Middlebrook or Jim France from NASCAR, MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
Aside from that expected list of participants, Dana White of the UFC and Vince McMahon of WWE were also on the call, which is what raised some eyebrows.
Trump indeed said he believes the NFL season should start on time in September, sources familiar with the call told ESPN. He added that he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September, sources say.
“I want fans back in the arenas,” Trump said later in a briefing at the White House. “I think it’s … whenever we’re ready. As soon as we can, obviously. And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe nice, clean, beautiful fresh air.”
The President did not give an exact date, saying, “No, I can’t tell you a date, but I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later.”
The bottom line? It remains a wait-and-see scenario, as with most things involving the COVID-19 pandemic.
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