President Donald Trump brought his attention to the sports’ world during a White House press conference Tuesday night, expressing his dissatisfaction with watching games that aren’t live.
“We have to get our sports back. I’m tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old,” Trump said. “But I haven’t actually had too much time to watch. I would say maybe I watch one batter then I get back to work.”
He then announced the formation of an advisory group consisting of sports’ commissioners from the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, NHL, UFC, PGA and LPGA in addition to Robert Kraft (Patriots’ owner), Jerry Jones (Mavericks’ owner) and Mark Cuban (Mavericks’ owner). Also included in the group were UFC president Dana White and WWE chairman Vince McMahon, who Trump called “great.” Both men are reportedly good friends with the president and White had previously spoke at a Trump campaign rally in 2016. White had previously attempted to host UFC 249 on a private island before the plan was shut down by executives from ESPN and Disney. The WWE hosted its annual Wrestlemania event at the company’s performance center in Orlando on April 4 and 5 which was the last sporting event held in the U.S. since the NBA postponed its season on March 11.
Trump also said that he will have conversations with the various sports’ leaders in groups and also individually. He later mentioned that the panel will work independent of the White House task force addressing the spread of coronavirus currently lead by the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci. He did admit, however, there may be a point when both groups jointly discuss certain issues.
Fauci gave his opinion on sports returning in the summer in an interview released on Wednesday with Snapchat’s Peter Hamby.
“There’s a way of doing that,” Fauci told Hamby. “Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled…. Have them tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family, and just let them play the season out.”
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio told CNN on Wednesday that he is definitely concerned with people attending games in the near future until the proper precautions are taken.
“It’s not an on-off switch [reopening] and we should get it right, one false move and we will see a resurgence , that’s the worst of all scenarios, so let’s get this right … it will be about smart, careful, staged reopening. If you put 50,000 people in Yankee stadium and see a resurgence [of COVID-19] that would be the worst thing. We have one chance to contain this thing,” De Blasio said.